- The crypto market experienced a rollercoaster week with hacks, fake news, and the launch of historical Bitcoin spot ETFs.
- Before this, hackers compromised the SEC’s Twitter account to announce a fake ETF approval, causing Bitcoin’s price to rise and fall.
- Bitcoin spot ETFs launched successfully, generating billions in trading volume and outperforming other Bitcoin ETFs.
- Coingecko fell victim to a Twitter hack (like the SEC) exposing users to a phishing scam.
- U.S. officials warned that AI will be used more extensively for hacking, scamming, and money laundering.
It might not seem much of the part, but last week was a historical one for the crypto market.
The week between 7 – 13 January came with its fair share of hacks, macroeconomic issues, as well as historical landmarks. And in this article, we are going to be picking out some of the best stories from all over crypto for the second week of January.
Let’s jump right in:
The SEC’s X Account Got Hacked: Used To Announce A Fake ETF Approval
The SEC surprised the crypto community on January 9, 2024, when it tweeted that the agency had approved the long-awaited spot Bitcoin ETFs.
Because of this announcement, investors flocked towards Bitcoin, sending its price skyrocketing to around $47,000 as the FOMO kicked in.
The euphoria died as quickly as it came though, when the SEC chair, Gary Gensler came online via his official Twitter account and stated that the SEC’s Twitter account had been hacked via a so-called sim-swap attack.
Soon after, the tweet was removed, and Bitcoin went crashing down.
This hack also questioned the SEC’s security measures, and its ability to protect confidential information.
So much so, that U.S. Senators J.D. Vance, Thom Tillis and others saw the tweet and sent a letter to Gensler, requesting an explanation by Monday at the latest.
Bitcoin Spot ETFs Went Live Only a Day After, Raking In Billions
After much anticipation from investors and crypto enthusiasts, the first batch of spot Bitcoin ETFs was eventually approved a day later, on January 10, 2024.
The ETF market went live on January 11, 2024, marking a significant milestone for the crypto market.
According to data from Yahoo Finance, the 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs had a combined trading volume of about $4.5 billion on their first day, compared with $1.1 billion for the five Bitcoin futures ETFs on their first day.
In terms of ROI, the spot Bitcoin ETFs have also beaten GBTC and Bitcoin futures ETFs, with the average return on the spot Bitcoin ETFs being 6.7% (compared to 4.9% on futures ETFs).
The best-performing spot Bitcoin ETF was also proven to be the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (or GBTC), followed by Blackrock’s ETF and then Fidelity’s ETF.
Coingecko Becomes Second Major Crypto Firm In Twitter (X) Attack Spree
Coingecko, one of the top crypto data aggregators, said on January 10, 2024, that hackers had gained access to their X account and terminal.
On getting access to Coingecko’s accounts, the hackers proceeded to post a phishing link, offering airdrop tokens for a new crypto that Coingecko was supposedly launching ($GCKO).
On clicking, the link directed users to a fake website that prompted them to connect their wallet and input their private keys to claim the Coingecko tokens.
According to reports, some users fell victim to this obvious scam, highlighting a dire need for better crypto education.
Overall, Coingecko notes that the hackers didn’t get control over their accounts based on failures with X, but rather with human errors.
One of Coingecko’s team members accidentally clicked on a fraudulent Calendly link, which granted the hackers access to Coingecko’s X account and terminal.
Coingecko said that it had two-factor authentication (2FA) enabled and implemented robust security measures, but the hackers were still able to gain access and possibly steal money from unsuspecting victims.
US Officials Come After AI. Say It Can Be Used For Hacking, Scamming And Money Laundering
At the International Conference on Cyber Security, held at Fordham University in Manhattan on January 9, 2024, U.S. law enforcement and intelligence authorities clarified that AI might have a dark side that no one is talking about, particularly in the area of security.
They argued that AI can be used to support cybercrimes including hacking, scamming, and money laundering.
The National Security Agency’s head of cybersecurity, Rob Joyce, claims that AI can lessen the technological know-how required to commit such crimes.
AI, for instance, can be used to create ransomware, phishing emails, and other methods that can be used to trick unsuspecting users.
This might look like a meaningless war against AI, but AI-based cyber attacks, particularly deepfakes, have been proven to have surged tenfold, from 2022 – 2023 (which is also the same timeframe in which AI started to boom).
This underscores a growing problem with how to manage security risks, particularly in 2024, when technologies like AI and blockchain are expected to take even bigger leaps.
Disclaimer: Voice of Crypto aims to deliver accurate and up-to-date information, but it will not be responsible for any missing facts or inaccurate information. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile financial assets, so research and make your own financial decisions.