Bitcoin ETF decision unlikely to be delayed due to SEC hack: Commentators

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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.

“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 greenlight 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.”

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

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.

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