The Defiant

Cointelegraph Publishes Post-Mortem After Inaccurate Tweet Sends BTC Flying

Cointelegraph said its staff breached editorial procedure by tweeting unconfirmed information.

By: Samuel Haig

Cointelegraph Publishes Post-Mortem After Inaccurate Tweet Sends BTC Flying

Prospective Bitcoin spot ETFs are again dominating the headlines, with a tweet from Cointelegraph falsely claiming U.S. regulators had approved BlackRock's proposed ETF triggering violent volatility in the markets.

On Oct. 16, Bitcoin abruptly rallied from $27,700 to $29,400 in one hour, according to CoinMarketCap. Bitcoin derivatives experienced exaggerated volatility, with BTC/USDT tagging a high of $30,625 on Bybit.

However, the markets were moving in response to a tweet from Cointelegraph falsely claiming that the spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) application from BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, had been approved by U.S. regulators.

Many analysts were skeptical of Cointelegraph’s claim and sought to check its accuracy with other sources. Cointelegraph’s reporting was proven inaccurate roughly one hour after publication, with BTC quickly shed most of the day’s gains within 45 minutes of its local high.


Cointelegraph responded by editing and then deleting the tweet, before acknowledging the original tweet’s inaccuracy and assuring an investigation was underway into its origin.

Cointelegraph later followed up with a blog post including screenshots of internal communications surrounding the tweet’s publication. The screenshots show a Cointelegraph employee hastily reacting to a tip provided to an internal Slack channel used to field news tips from potential sources. The tip was provided by a now-deleted Telegram account claiming to forward the headline from Bloomberg Terminal.

“An internal investigation revealed that our standard procedure for posting breaking news on social media, wherein sources are required to be verified before posting to social media, was not followed,” Cointelegraph said.

The incident triggered some onlookers to speculate someone at Cointelegraph may have engineered the incident as an elaborate insider trading opportunity.

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The rumors gathered momentum after Rollbit, a crypto casino offering leveraged trading, posted a screenshot appearing to show an account with the name “Cointelegraph” profiting more than $2.2M from a 50x leveraged long opened using Rollbit on Oct. 16.

However, Scott Melker, host of the Wolf Of All Streets podcast, dismissed the rumor by sharing a screenshot of Rollbit’s trading leaderboard for the day, from which the purported “Cointelegraph” account was missing.