Bitcoin Price Spike Tied to Erroneous Crypto ETF Tweet

Bitcoin Price Spike Tied to Erroneous Crypto ETF Tweet

Cointelegraph apologized for reporting Monday the SEC had approved iShares bitcoin ETF.

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Finance Reporter
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Reviewed by: etf.com Staff
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Edited by: Ron Day

Bitcoin jumped to nearly $30,000 on Monday, its peak since late August, after a false report circulated on Twitter/X that BlackRock Inc.’s spot bitcoin ETF was approved by the SEC.  

The price shot up to $29,900 after cryptocurrency news site Cointelegraph tweeted at 9:24 a.m. New York time Monday morning “BREAKING: SEC APPROVES ISHARES BITCOIN SPOT ETF,” falsely reporting that the Securities and Exchange Commission had approved the first spot bitcoin ETF. The post was first edited, and then deleted after BlackRock clarified to Bloomberg that their application was still under review. Bitcoin fell to about $28,000 by the end of Monday.  

Bitcoin’s price has doubled over the past year in part on expectations the SEC will approve a spot bitcoin ETF, giving investors options beyond the futures crypto funds currently available. The SEC in fact did open the door wider to a spot bitcoin ETF on Friday, Oct. 13 when it declined to appeal a court ruling that found the agency was unfairly blocking Grayscale Bitcoin Trust’s effort to convert the trust into the first spot bitcoin ETF.  

“[It’s possible] that somebody simply jumped the gun, making a statement that was more hopeful than factual, but others would argue that this was a malicious act,” said Ric Edelman, founder of the Digital Assets Council of Financial Professionals. He said that Cointelegraph may have mistakenly reported what turned out to be a pump and dump scheme, in which someone knowingly circulated the rumors to manipulate the price. 

Crypto investors have been eagerly awaiting a spot bitcoin ETF for years, yet the SEC has so far denied or delayed applications from a slew of firms on concerns about market manipulation, security and fraud. Recently the agency approved creation of ETFs that trade ether futures. 

iShares Spot Bitcoin ETF Rumors  

Cointelegraph issued an apology for the false report later Monday and said that an internal investigation was underway. The media company said that the rumor originated from a fake screenshot on Twitter/X that looked like it was from the Bloomberg terminal and that the social media team posted the report “without prior editorial approval.”  

The news website published internal Telegram messages in which employees were discussing the news in its review of the incident. “Where did you get this pls? We can’t confirm it?” one Cointelegraph employee wrote. “Unfortunately our colleague jumped too fast,” another messaged. 

Contact Lucy Brewster at [email protected].  

Lucy Brewster is a finance reporter at etf.com covering asset managers, emerging technologies, and regulation. She hosts etf.com webinars and appears on Exchange Traded Fridays, etf.com’s flagship podcast. She previously was a finance fellow at Fortune Magazine where she covered markets, investment strategy, and venture capital. She has also been a freelancer writer at the publication Mergers & Acquisitions and a research fellow at the Historic Hudson Valley. 

She graduated from Vassar College in 2022 with a degree in History and was an editor of The Miscellany News, the college's award winning student run newspaper. 

Lucy lives in Brooklyn, NY, and in her free time she loves to run and find new recipes to cook.