A fake announcement regarding the approval of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF) briefly caused euphoria in the crypto industry. According to a message from the official account of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Elon Musk's online platform X (formerly Twitter), it initially seemed that the way for a listing was clear. But a little later, the head of the authorities, Gary Gensler, announced that the announcement had been wrong. X's SEC account was hacked.
The price of the oldest and best-known digital currency initially jumped up on the Coinbase trading platform, but then turned around just above the $47,900 mark and temporarily slipped to the $46,000 mark. The Bitcoin price had recently benefited significantly from speculation about a hoped-for positive decision: since mid-October alone, it had gained 76 percent at its peak.
SEC profile hijacked
The false announcement matched expectations: ETF approval was expected this week. Several providers had applied for approval of such funds. The deadline for a decision on at least one of the applications expires this week. There was speculation that the SEC wanted to use this as an opportunity to make a fundamental decision on several applications.
According to X, the SEC profile was hijacked because someone gained access to the phone number associated with it. At the same time, X let the public know that at the time of the hack, the SEC account was not protected with so-called two-factor authentication, which would have made it much more difficult to hijack.
SEC warns of risks of crypto offerings
X owner Musk has been at loggerheads with the SEC for years. The tech billionaire had to give up his position as chief executive of the board of directors of the electric car manufacturer he led at the request of the stock exchange regulator. She also enforced that his X contributions, which could influence Tesla's share price, must first be approved by the company. The trigger was Musk's tweets from 2018, in which, from the SEC's perspective, he misleadingly announced that he wanted to take the car company off the stock exchange. That didn't happen in the end.
The SEC often warns about the risks of crypto offerings and advocates for strict regulation of the market. It is rather unusual for a profile with such importance to fall into the wrong hands. However, just a few days ago, the X account of the IT security company Mandiant was hijacked in order to advertise fraudulent crypto offers.