February 21, 2024
US SEC’s X Account Hacked to post about approval of Bitcoin ETFs

A post purporting to have authorized listings for Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) briefly compromised the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) X account.

In a subsequent post on his X account, SEC Chair Gary Gensler clarified that the agency’s account had been “compromised, and an unauthorized tweet was posted.”

“Today the SEC grants approval for #Bitcoin ETFs for listing on all registered national securities,” stated the post from the SEC’s compromised account, which featured an image of Gensler. Sustained investor protection will be guaranteed through continuous monitoring and compliance procedures about the authorized Bitcoin ETFs.

Following the fictitious SEC post, the price of Bitcoin surged to $48,000 but sharply dropped below $46,000.

The post regarding Bitcoin exchange-traded funds was inaccurate, the SEC stated late on Tuesday.

 “There has been a compromise of the SEC’s @SECGov X/Twitter account. The SEC or any of its employees did not post the unauthorized tweet about bitcoin ETFs, an SEC spokesman said in a statement.

The hackers who broke into the SEC’s account also began to favor posts from accounts with a cryptocurrency focus, who were thrilled about the SEC’s erroneous approval of Bitcoin ETFs.

Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are similar financial instruments; shares of ETFs trade on exchanges similarly to stocks.

SEC reports that X’s account was hacked

On Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission declared that a social media announcement regarding bitcoin exchange-traded funds was inaccurate.

“There has been a compromise of the SEC’s @SECGov X/Twitter account. An SEC representative said, “The unapproved tweet about bitcoin ETFs was not made by the SEC or its staff.”

The bogus social media post claimed that bitcoin ETFs could be traded with SEC approval. After the first post, the price of Bitcoin increased momentarily before falling below $46,000.

Later on Tuesday night, shortly after 4 p.m. ET, an SEC representative informed that the agency had discovered that the regulator’s X account had been unlawfully accessed “by an unknown party” for a brief duration.

sec tweet

“The SEC will investigate the matter and determine appropriate next steps relating to both the unauthorized access and any related misconduct,” the spokesperson stated. “We will work with law enforcement and our partners across government.”

After years of opposition, the SEC is anticipated to make a decision this week regarding bitcoin ETFs. A majority of the asset managers who submitted updated registration statements on Tuesday morning are among the more than a dozen who have submitted applications to establish such a fund.

The biggest cryptocurrency’s price has increased recently, partly due to mounting hope that the so-called spot bitcoin ETFs would be authorized. There are already funds that trade on American exchanges that mirror the price of bitcoin futures.

The introduction of spot bitcoin funds, according to proponents of the industry, may attract a new class of investors to digital assets. ETFs are a tool that financial advisors frequently employ. The theory is that advisors and investors put off by the complexities surrounding Bitcoin custody would be more inclined to purchase cryptocurrency through an ETF wrapper.

During his tenure, SEC Chair Gary Gensler has been a vocal opponent of cryptocurrency, and the commission has filed lawsuits against several significant cryptocurrency exchanges. Earlier in the week, Gensler had advised investors to exercise caution when purchasing cryptocurrency-related products on social media.

The SEC I lost a legal battle with cryptocurrency asset manager Grayscale last year. Grayscale seeks to turn an over-the-counter trust that holds Bitcoin into an exchange-traded fund (ETF). Speculation that the SEC would soon approve bitcoin ETFs was stoked by the regulator’s decision not to appeal that decision.

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