On January 9, the SEC announced the approval of Bitcoin ETFs, only to retract the announcement a few minutes later, citing a hack of its X account. This episode led to considerable volatility in the Bitcoin price and provoked various interpretations and reactions far beyond the crypto ecosystem.
SEC approves Bitcoin ETFs …, just for a few minutes
While the crypto ecosystem eagerly awaited the approval or otherwise of Bitcoin ETFs by the SEC, the financial watchdog put on a show rich in emotions and twists.
Indeed, the official X account of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the approval of Bitcoin ETFs on January 9, 2024. On the design appended to the post, you can see a photo of the chairman of the SEC, Gary Gensler stating that “today’s approval improves market transparency and provides investors with efficient access to investments in digital assets within a regulated framework.”.
Except that it’s all fake. A few minutes after the SEC, Gary stated that Bitcoin ETFs have not been approved. For Gary Gensler, it was rather the SEC’s X account that had been hacked by malicious individuals who took advantage of the situation to post a false message. Since then, the SEC seems to have regained control of its account. The fake message has been deleted and the hack announced by Gary Gensler has been confirmed by the SEC account itself.
Bitcoin jumps to $48,000, then falls again
News of the Bitcoin ETF approval lasted only a few minutes before being denied. According to bitcoin.fr, the update from Gary Gensler was only 15 minutes after the false announcement.
However, the false announcement and denial did have an impact on the Bitcoin price. From a low of around $46,000, the value of Bitcoin suddenly rose to around $48,000 when the announcement of the Bitcoin ETF approval was made. But the rise didn’t last too long. The denial of Gary Gensler and the SEC led to a sudden drop in Bitcoin to around $45,000.
Reactions from financial and political players
The Bitcoin market isn’t the only one to have reacted to the SEC’s unpleasantness on Twitter. Journalists, analysts, politicians and crypto players, …, the SEC’s contradictory tweets triggered an avalanche of criticism and interpretation.
Eric Balchunas, Bloomberg’s senior ETF analyst, does not believe in the theory of a hack put forward by the SEC. According to the post announcing the approval of Bitcoin ETFs uses precise SEC language. For this analyst, it was probably a draft or a tweet timed at the wrong moment. We won’t have to wait long to find out, as the deadline for certain Bitcoin EFT applications expires this January 10.
Political players have also stepped up to the plate following the false announcement of the SEC’s approval of Bitcoin ETFs. The senator Bill Hagerty has for example called the congress, already not a fan of Gary Gensler, to crack down on SEC for this “colossal” and “unacceptable” error.
A colossal and unacceptable error, in any case, are the right words to describe the SEC’s attitude. According to an investigation by X, the SEC account is not protected by two-factor authentication. All that was required was access to the telephone number associated with the SEC account, in order to control it. A strange attitude from an agency that’s supposed to protect investors, but can’t protect its own Twitter account. Funny/Scary, isn’t it?
I dream of a world where every citizen has total control over themselves, including their finances. I believe that Bitcoin is one of the tools that will achieve this revolution. Since 2019, I am learning about this cryptocurrency and spreading the word around.