Bitcoin Price Plummets Due to Hacked SEC Tweet

SEC Chairman Gary Gensler

SEC Chairman Gary Gensler
Photo: Nathan Howard/Bloomberg (Getty Images)

The Security and Exchange Commission’s X account was hacked on Tuesday afternoon, sending an untrue tweet that the Bitcoin ETF was approved. Chairman Gary Gensler quickly tweeted from his personal account that the tweet was false and the result of a hack. In the following 15 minutes, the price of Bitcoin shot up to almost $48,000 and then quickly fell to below $46,000.

He Tossed His Bitcoin, Now He Wants It Back

The price of Bitcoin spiked and then plummeted on Tuesday afternoon.

The price of Bitcoin spiked and then plummeted on Tuesday afternoon.
Screenshot: Google

“The SEC’s @SECGov X/Twitter account has been compromised,” an SEC spokesperson confirmed in an email Tuesday afternoon. “The unauthorized tweet regarding bitcoin ETFs was not made by the SEC or its staff.”

In a later statement, the SEC told Gizmodo that an unknown party had unauthorized access to the SEC’s X account for a short time. An SEC spokesperson said that unauthorized access “has been terminated” but gave no further details. “The SEC will work with law enforcement and our partners across government to investigate the matter,” said the spokesperson.

The crypto world is on the edge of its seats waiting for the SEC’s approval of a Bitcoin Spot ETF, which could happen this week. If approved, the ETF would vastly increase investment in cryptocurrency and mark a new age of safer, government-regulated crypto trading. The fake tweet from the SEC was enough to increase and decrease Bitcoin’s value by thousands of dollars in just minutes.

Here is the hacked tweet from the SEC that has been proven to be untrue, and has since been deleted:

Hacked tweet from the SEC. The information here is false at the time of posting.

Hacked tweet from the SEC. The information here is false at the time of posting.
Screenshot: X

The hacked SEC account raises a question of cybersecurity on X. It’s become quite common for major institutions to use X accounts as their major source of corporate communication, but this event calls out the danger in that practice. Alternatively, it’s possible that the SEC itself had low security on its X account.

The Commission tweeted this in October, which looks pretty silly now: “Careful what you read on the internet. The best source of information about the SEC is the SEC.” It seems even the SEC’s X account is not the best source of information about the SEC.