The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will likely still go ahead with a decision on spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds this week despite opening an investigation into a recent hack of its social media account.
The SEC’s X account was “compromised” on Jan. 9, leading to an unknown party using the account to post that spot Bitcoin ETFs were approved in the United States. The message was deleted around 20 minutes later but caused widespread ruckus on social media and the markets. The SEC reportedly said it is engaging with law enforcement to get to the bottom of the incident.
Some commentators worry the blunder could be used as an excuse to delay the decision past the anticipated Jan. 10 deadline, though most see this as only a remote possibility.
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?
It would be unreasonable to delay… and this event should change nothing IMO. However, nothing surprises me anymore.
Or did the message just get published early?
— Gabor Gurbacs (@gaborgurbacs) January 9, 2024
“It depends on the intention of the SEC. If the SEC is looking for ways to continue delaying the ETF process, it’s possible they could use this as a reason to slow down the roll out,” said Dennis Porter, CEO of Satoshi Action Fund in a note to Cointelegraph.
Porter noted that his contacts still indicate the Securities and Exchange Commission will give the green light to the spot Bitcoin ETF applicants on Jan. 10.
“However, everything I am hearing from my contacts would suggest that the ETF will be here as late as this week, and as early as tomorrow.”
U.S. attorney and commercial litigator Joe Carlasare said anything is possible but also leaned heavily toward the SEC still making a decision by the Jan. 10 deadline.
“Anything is possible, but I find [it] to be extremely unlikely [that] they aren’t going to approve or reject based on this incident,” Carlasare told Cointelegraph.
However, the securities regulator could use the false post to suit a delay agenda, suggests Mati Greenspan of cryptocurrency-focused finance firm Quantum Economics.
“I can certainly see a situation where the SEC would try to use this fiasco as a way to delay the ETF approval. It wouldn’t be the first time they’ve used underhanded methods to force their agenda on the markets.”
Part of me is like. Yea he kinda has a point — this is a bad look. But at the same time this is on the SEC for not having 2FA on their account. Would it still be #Bitcoin or Crypto’s fault if the compromisoor tweeted that the SEC was filing an enforcement action against @Tesla? https://t.co/sBySYfPXmY
— James Seyffart (@JSeyff) January 9, 2024
Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas said he’s still anticipating official approval of the spot Bitcoin ETFs sometime between 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm Eastern Time (9:00 pm to 10:00 pm UTC) on Jan. 10.
Related: Lawyers, politicians call for investigation of SEC over Bitcoin ETF post
One prospective spot Bitcoin ETF issuer is reportedly concerned the SEC hack could result in approval delay, according to a Reuter’s report. Despite that news, ETFStore President Nate Geraci still expects the SEC to make a decision before the deadline.
Digital asset lawyer Anthony Tu-Sekine of Seward and Kissel reportedly told The New York Post he didn’t believe the incident would change the likelihood of approvals at this late stage.
Tu-Sekine said he wasn’t sure why someone would do something like that when the approval was already widely anticipated. “This is really puzzling,” Tu-Sekine said.
Another angle to consider with this $BTC ETF fiasco:
Maybe this was an excuse to delay the approval?
ARK final deadline was tomorrow, the rest are March.
There are now claims the SEC may need to ‘investigate’ themselves..? (wut?)
My initial instinct was always that we’d see…
— Crypto El Presidente (@CryptoElPres) January 9, 2024
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