Recent erroneous media reports falsely claimed that BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, had acquired the distressed crypto lender Voyager Digital (VGX). This misinformation led to a temporary surge in VGX’s value, highlighting the susceptibility of the cryptocurrency market to false narratives and manipulation.
Fake News Circulates:
The misleading news about BlackRock’s acquisition of Voyager Digital circulated through major media channels, including the Associated Press, which presented it as a paid press release. Despite various red flags, such as the dubious source—a Twitter account with just one follower—many media outlets shared the unverified news without proper verification processes. Some of these outlets have not retracted their stories, even after the news was debunked.
Price Manipulation Attempt:
It appears that the primary objective behind spreading this false information was to artificially manipulate the price of VGX. The scheme briefly succeeded, causing VGX’s price to spike by 8%, reaching $0.15335. However, once the news was confirmed as false, VGX’s price plummeted by 15% to $0.1248, highlighting the fleeting nature of interest in the digital asset.
Tactics of Manipulators:
This incident sheds light on the tactics employed by malicious actors in the cryptocurrency market. Cryptocurrency values often hinge on news and sentiment, making them vulnerable to manipulation through the dissemination of deceptive narratives.
BlackRock’s Crypto Ventures:
BlackRock has indeed been expanding its presence in the cryptocurrency market, with notable moves including its application for a spot Bitcoin ETF in June. Additionally, a 2022 study suggested an optimal allocation of 85% to leading cryptocurrencies in BlackRock’s portfolio. The company has also invested in four of the top five Bitcoin mining firms by market capitalization.
The incident involving the false news about BlackRock’s involvement with Voyager Digital serves as a reminder of the challenges and vulnerabilities in the cryptocurrency market. The swift impact of misinformation on cryptocurrency prices underscores the need for caution and thorough verification in an ecosystem where news and sentiment can have profound effects. While BlackRock has been making moves in the crypto space, this particular news was nothing more than a manipulative attempt to influence VGX’s price.