The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) seems to have finally approved at least one of the filed spot Bitcoin ETF applications according to CBOE. VanEck’s Bitcoin Trust is set to start trading January 11th, 2024.
There really isn't any doubt in my mind 😂
Congratulations on the Bitcoin Spot ETF 🥳 pic.twitter.com/4FNKmRtbUr
— Alexander Ellefsen⚡️ (@4lexEllefsen) January 10, 2024
SEC Finally Approves BTC Spot ETF!
After months of court battles and bated breath from the crypto community, spot Bitcoin ETFs are finally confirmed. We only have confirmation that the VanEck ETF is good to go but it seems likely that at least some of the others will soon also be approved.
The approval may also lead directly to approvals of spot ETFs for other cryptocurrencies. Valkyrie’s CIO said that Ripple and Ethereum may be next on the docket.
— Watcher.Guru (@WatcherGuru) January 9, 2024
No one knows whether this will be a “buy the rumor, sell the news” moment or if it will turn out to be as consequential as many Bitcoin supporters believe but it’s nonetheless a good day for the market.
Unraveling the Twitter Hack That Rocked the Crypto World
The news came less than 1 day after the SEC X (Twitter) account tweeted out that it had approved Bitcoin spot ETFs, leaving the crypto community elated until they found out it was a hoax. The SEC claims that its Twitter account was compromised (which was later confirmed by the X Safety team).
This incident sent shockwaves through the crypto market, impacting the prices of Bitcoin and Ethereum in a shock move that took out $50m in derivatives alone. Final confirmation of the ETF approval only came minutes before this article was published but crypto prices have yet to make any dramatic moves.
The fallout from this hack raises questions about the crypto industry’s susceptibility to misinformation and the real prospects of a Bitcoin ETF approval; alongside security questions over the SEC’s social media accounts.
The SEC’s official Twitter account, @SECGov, experienced a security breach when an unknown party gained unauthorized access to a phone number connected to the account.
We can confirm that the account @SECGov was compromised and we have completed a preliminary investigation. Based on our investigation, the compromise was not due to any breach of X’s systems, but rather due to an unidentified individual obtaining control over a phone number…
— Safety (@Safety) January 10, 2024
Malicious intent is clear here, as the hacker used this opportunity to make a false announcement regarding the approval of Bitcoin ETFs, causing confusion and market turbulence.
This unauthorized tweet claimed that the SEC had granted approval for Bitcoin ETFs to be listed on registered national securities exchanges.
It included a graphic with a quote purportedly from SEC Chair Gary Gensler.
How Bitcoin and Ethereum Reacted to False ETF Approval News
The false announcement had an immediate impact on the cryptocurrency market, Bitcoin’s price surged to nearly $48,000 in response to the news, only to plummet by nearly 6% to $45,100 when the truth was revealed.
This rollercoaster ride wiped out over $50 million of leveraged derivatives trading positions within an hour, according to CoinGlass data.
Ethereum also experienced volatility, with traders initially reacting to the false news by selling off their holdings, however, it rebounded as the market realized the misinformation’s true nature.
The incident shed light on the crypto market’s vulnerability to sudden news events, emphasizing the importance of verifying information from official sources in a move reminiscent of Coin Telegraph’s false story back in November.
SEC Chair’s Response: Clarity Amid Chaos
The @SECGov X account was compromised, and an unauthorized post was posted. The SEC has not approved the listing and trading of spot bitcoin exchange-traded products.
— U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (@SECGov) January 9, 2024
A response from the SEC promptly clarified the situation, confirming that its Twitter account had indeed been compromised, and this was further confirmed by a tweet from Gary Gensler.
The regulator emphasized that it had not approved any Bitcoin ETFs for listing or trading. It also pledged to work with law enforcement and government partners to investigate the unauthorized access and any related misconduct.
SEC Chair Gary Gensler addressed the incident from his personal Twitter account, assuring the public that Bitcoin ETFs had not been approved.
The @SECGov twitter account was compromised, and an unauthorized tweet was posted. The SEC has not approved the listing and trading of spot bitcoin exchange-traded products.
— Gary Gensler (@GaryGensler) January 9, 2024
He reiterated that any official approval would be communicated through the agency’s EDGAR database, not via social media.
Whistleblower Snowden’s Critique and Scaramucci’s Controversial Take
The crypto community reacted strongly to the hack and its aftermath, with some figures more critical than others.
Notably, whistleblower Edward Snowden criticized Gensler and the SEC for the security breach and subsequent confusion.
Snowden’s tweets drew attention to the importance of reliable information sources in the digital age.
Anthony Scaramucci, founder of SkyBridge Capital, publicly questioned Gensler’s response to the hack – instead Scaramucci suggested a theory that the SEC chairman may be concealing the truth and accused him of being dishonest.
Blaming the tweet, which was carefully worded and included a produced graphic, on a hacked account is a continuation of amateurish and dishonest nature of the current SEC leadership regime.
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) January 9, 2024
He speculated that an employee’s mistake might have led to the premature tweet, and that this could now be subject to a cover up by the Commission.
What’s Next for the Crypto Market?
After waiting months and months for a decision from the SEC on spot Bitcoin ETFs, the day is finally here. Analysts are still arguing over what effects these ETFs will have on the market but few argue that they won’t be positive on the whole.