Home » Fake news & Bitcoin: here’s how a simple rumor turned the whole market upside down

Fake news & Bitcoin: here’s how a simple rumor turned the whole market upside down

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Yesterday, in less than 40 minutes, the price of Bitcoin (BTC) soared to $30,000 before returning to its initial point. Behind this mysterious movement lies a fake news story circulated by Cointelegraph, claiming that BlackRock’s Bitcoin spot ETF had been validated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The media outlet has since acknowledged its error. What’s really behind this fake news?

Bitcoins spot ETFs unleash passions

Yesterday afternoon, after breaking through the $27,500 barrier, the Bitcoin (BTC) price rocketed to $30,000 in less than 15 minutes.

The reason: a piece of fake news shared on the X account of Cointelegraph, one of the largest English-language crypto media, announcing the validation of BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF by the SEC. After 35 minutes, the company modified its post to include the conditional (reportedly) before permanently deleting its tweet:

Cointelegraph's tweet, first modified then deleted

Cointelegraph’s tweet, first modified then deleted

In an article published last night, the company justifies its error and explains the background to this fake news. According to the company, it all started with a rumor spread on a Telegram channel dedicated to its editorial team.

After one of the channel’s members posted the false news about the Bitcoin spot ETF, a company employee relayed the information to Cointelegraph’s official X account (with 1.9 million followers) without verifying the source of the information.

Screenshot of the Telegram channel in question

Screenshot of the Telegram channel in question

The rest we know: the Bitcoin price suddenly soared towards the $30,000 resistance level, before returning to its initial level 40 minutes later.

While Cointelegraph faces much criticism from the crypto community, BlackRock has officially denied the news of the validation of its spot Bitcoin ETF.

An apology considered insufficient by the community

Despite its public apology on Twitter, Cointelegraph is still in the eye of the storm. Some investors are criticizing the company for its lack of seriousness, while other Internet users are protesting the influence that a single media outlet has had not only on the markets, but also on other media and influencers in the sector who relayed the information without sourcing it

“We apologize for a tweet that led to the dissemination of inaccurate information regarding BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF. An internal investigation is currently underway. We are committed to transparency and will share the results of the investigation with the public once completed within 3 hours. “

In fact, this fake news alone caused numerous liquidations not only on Bitcoin, but on the entire cryptocurrency market. According to Bloomberg, nearly $85 million was liquidated by the fake news.

Cointelegraph’s managing editor, Kristina Lucrezia Cornèr, has also come in for a lot of criticism. At a conference held last night in Dubai, she justified her company’s error by blaming the company, which pushes every media outlet to always be first on the news.

Whatever the case, this fake news risks further damaging the image of the cryptocurrency sector among households and institutional investors. In times of bear markets as in times of euphoria, the acronym DYOR (Do Your Own Research) should remain the rule, not the exception.

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