‘A real low point’: Congressman calls out SEC bitcoin ETF drama during House hearing

Rep. French Hill, R-Ark., became the latest member of Congress to criticize the SEC over Tuesday’s security failure


US Congressman French Hill | Congressman French Hill Facebook page modified by Blockworks


Rep. French Hill, R-Ark., kicked off the House Financial Services Committee’ digital assets subcommittee meeting Tuesday afternoon with a dig about the ongoing controversy surrounding the US Securities and Exchange Commission. 

“It’s clear some rogue regulators threaten consumer protections in the digital asset market as much as any bad actor,” Hill said during his prepared remarks at the start of the hearing. “I think we just witnessed the latest in Washington’s technological vulnerabilities yesterday, and a real low point for the SEC.” 

Hill’s comments refer to a market-moving fake post on the SEC’s official X account that claimed the agency had approved bitcoin ETFs

Read more: Gary Gensler says SEC’s X account was compromised, posted fake bitcoin ETF approval news

Fifteen minutes later — and after bitcoin had surged to just under $48,000 — SEC Chair Gary Gensler clarified publicly that the agency’s account was “compromised” and no bitcoin ETF applications were approved. 

“In this Congress, our committee has scrutinized the repeated and proactive efforts by certain Biden financial regulators to take aggressive agency actions against disfavored industries through guidance, rulemaking, supervision and enforcement,” Hill said, mentioning the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s inconsistent track record with crypto. 

Hill added that he and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., would issue a letter to Gensler “to start the process of getting to the bottom of how it happened.” 

Senators J.D. Vance, R-Ohio., and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., announced late Wednesday they had also written to Gensler about the incident, calling it an “unacceptable” and “colossal error.” 

Other Republican US senators chimed in as well, including Bill Hagerty, R-TN, and Cynthia Lummis, R-WY. 

Read more: SEC will investigate, ‘determine appropriate’ steps following X account compromise

“Just like the SEC would demand accountability from a public company if they made such a colossal market-moving mistake, Congress needs answers on what just happened,” Hagerty wrote via his X account late Tuesday. “This is unacceptable.”

In a statement shared with Blockworks, the SEC said Wednesday that the compromise incident was referred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the securities regulator’s inspector general.

Notably, the agency appears to seek to quash rumors that the tweet in question had been drafted by agency staff and erroneously posted.

“The unauthorized content on the @SECGov account was not drafted or created by the SEC,” the agency said. “We will provide updates on the incident as appropriate.”

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