On late November 13, the XRP price experienced a significant surge, momentarily jumping by 16% following a purported exchange-traded fund (ETF) filing by BlackRock, which quickly turned out to be fake.
The incident began when X (formerly Twitter) users shared a filing in Delaware suggesting that BlackRock, the global asset management giant, had registered the “iShares XRP Trust”. This action is typically a precursor to launching an ETF. Consequently, the XRP price soared to $0.75, a 16% increase, within just 25 minutes of the news breaking.
However, the excitement was short-lived. Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas confirmed the filing as fake after direct communication with BlackRock representatives. Balchunas indicated that the XRP trust had been falsely listed on the Delaware website using the name of Daniel Schwieger, a managing director at BlackRock.
In a X post, Balchunas stated, “This is false! Confirmed by BlackRock by me. Some whacko must have added using BlackRock executive name etc. Cmon man. […] Some ppl questioning whether BlackRock actually confirmed to me this is false. They did. A spokesperson confirmed. If that’s not enough and you are still raging, then please seek medical help.”
Adding to this, Bloomberg’s James Seyffart remarked on the rapid price fluctuation: “Round trip to below where it was before the fake pump. […] That was a quick […] Whoever did this better have covered their tracks because the feds will be looking into them I suspect.” Seyffart also clarified that while the XRP trust filing was fake, the Ethereum ETF filing is legitimate and confirmed.
Why The Odds Of A XRP ETF By BlackRock Were Slim
Scott Johnson, finance lawyer at Davis Polk elucidated why the XRP ETF by BlackRock had little chance to be true: “Would represent an aggressive posture from Blackrock given there’s currently no clear path for XRP to get 19b-4 approval here without a CME futures market / SSA. Not to say it can’t be done, but would require forging a new path.”
Jeremy Hogan, a renowned lawyer from the community, explained the simplicity of spoofing the formation of an ETF, highlighting its fraudulent nature and the ease of execution. Hogan elaborated that “it’s actually very easy and just costs $500. You only need to file two documents (attached), pay the money, and you get a ‘placeholder’ on the state website. ”
He also speculated that the perpetrator could have potentially capitalized on the price surge. “Criminal saw what happened with the ETH trust filing, files the XRP trust ‘filing,’ buys $100k XRP on leverage, sells at 74 cents, and pockets 2-3 million dollars,” Hogan speculated.
At press time, XRP traded at $0.6636 after briefly touching the 0.618 Fibonacci retracement level.
Featured image from Markus Winkler / Unsplash, chart from TradingView.com