Hackers have accessed a social media account of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Fake posts have been published on X claiming that Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) had been approved to be traded at all national securities markets.
In one of the posts, a quote was falsely attributed as being from SEC Chairman Gary Gensler. In the post, he praises this supposed approval as an easy way to trade in a “regulated environment.” This post was ultimately deleted.
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) January 9, 2024
The SEC’s false posts sent the Bitcoin market into chaos, causing investors to lose money who initially shorted Bitcoin as its value soared. Bitcoin fell when it was realized that the news was fake, causing a different group of investors to suffer.
This is so stupid.
The @SECGov X account gets hacked, falsely claims Bitcoin ETFs have been approved, Bitcoin surges, wiping out people who have used options to short Bitcoin.
— Geoffrey Miller (@primalpoly) January 9, 2024
It is impossible to determine who was behind the hacking and, because Bitcoin cannot be traced, it’s also difficult to identify who profited from the sudden change in the market. This would be the most likely motive. Someone wanted to drive Bitcoins up so they could make a profit.
Some have speculated about the possibility that the SEC was behind the posts. Perhaps they were trying to intentionally harm Bitcoin’s investment value. Biden’s administration and many Democrats have stated that they don’t want unregulated cryptocurrency to continue.