SEC's Spot Bitcoin ETF Approval Post Unauthorized — Chair Gary Gensler Says SEC's X Account Was Compromised

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s X account announced the approval of spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on Tuesday. However, minutes later, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler claimed that the agency’s social media account was compromised and the post was unauthorized. Some suspect an internal SEC error behind the premature bitcoin ETF announcement.

SEC’s ‘Unauthorized’ Spot Bitcoin ETF Announcement

Amidst soaring anticipation for potential spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) approval, an official U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) account on social media platform X announced on Tuesday that the regulator has approved spot bitcoin ETFs for trading on all registered national securities exchanges.

As excitement surged across the crypto industry and social media went wild over the fake news, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler quickly took to X platform to clarify that the SEC account was compromised and an unauthorized post claiming spot bitcoin ETF approval was posted. He emphasized that the securities regulator has not approved any listing or trading of spot exchange-traded products.

Following the unauthorized post about spot bitcoin ETF approval, X erupted with comments questioning the SEC’s ability to protect investors and accusing the regulator of market manipulation after the fake announcement. Bitcoin proponent Jameson Lopp, for example, wrote: “It’s a good thing we have the SEC keeping us safe from malicious actors in the markets. Darn shame they can’t even keep a social media account secure … Will the SEC be investigating itself for allowing this market manipulation on their watch?”

Some people on social media suspect that someone at the SEC made the mistake of posting the announcement prematurely and it was supposed to go out on Wednesday. Skybridge Capital founder Anthony Scaramucci opined on X: “I think Gensler is lying. I bet an employee screwed up and jumped the gun and he is blaming it on X … 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.” Vaneck’s head of digital assets strategy, Gabor Gurbacs, commented on X:

I am no cybersecurity expert, but it seems almost impossible to notice a bad tweet from [an] org account, tweet from the chair’s account to correct it, then recover a hacked social media account, then tweet about incident and response to it from hacked account, all in a few minutes.

“What if this was an inside job? Is the only way to stop or delay a bitcoin ETF is to create an event like this? … Or did the message just get published early?” the Vaneck director questioned.

The SEC is expected to approve multiple spot bitcoin ETFs on Wednesday, which is the deadline for a proposal by Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest and 21shares. Ten spot bitcoin ETF applicants have filed their amended registration statements with the SEC. Several asset managers expect to start trading their spot bitcoin ETFs on Thursday.

Do you think the SEC’s X account was compromised like Chair Gary Gensler said or did someone at the SEC send out the announcement accidentally? Let us know in the comments section below.

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