Bitcoin (BTC), the leading cryptocurrency by market capitalization, reached a new all-time high of $28,506.23 on Monday, October 16, 2023, after a wave of speculation that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had approved the first spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) 1. However, the rumor turned out to be false and the price quickly dropped to $28,429.51, wiping out over $1 billion of open interest in the futures market 2.
The false report was attributed to a fake SEC website that claimed that the agency had approved the VanEck Bitcoin Trust, a spot Bitcoin ETF that has been pending since March 2021 3. The website looked identical to the official SEC website and even had a fake press release with a fake signature of SEC Chair Gary Gensler 4. The hoax was exposed by several crypto experts and media outlets, who pointed out the inconsistencies and errors in the fake website and press release 5.
The incident highlighted the high demand and anticipation for a spot Bitcoin ETF in the U.S., which many investors believe would boost the adoption and legitimacy of the cryptocurrency. A spot Bitcoin ETF would allow investors to buy and sell Bitcoin directly through a regulated platform, without having to deal with the technical and security issues of holding the digital asset themselves. Currently, there are several spot Bitcoin ETF proposals under review by the SEC, but none of them have been approved yet .
Despite the setback, some analysts remain bullish on Bitcoin’s long-term prospects, citing its strong fundamentals and technical indicators. According to FXStreet, Bitcoin is still in a positive trend in the daily time frame and could resume its upward momentum after a short-term correction . MarketBeat also predicts that Bitcoin could challenge its 2023 bull rally and reach new highs in the coming weeks . However, they also warn of the potential risks and volatility that could affect the market, such as regulatory uncertainty, hacking incidents, and competition from other cryptocurrencies .