In brief

  • Tweets mentioning Bitcoin surged during and after this week’s Twitter hack.
  • The single-day tally did not match that of the day of May’s halving event.
  • Some 12.5 BTC was taken in the scam, with some reportedly already being laundered.

Wednesday’s enormous Twitter hack saw dozens of high-profile accounts, among them Barack Obama, Elon Musk and Kanye West, commandeered to tweet out a Bitcoin scam. While the number of accounts used was relatively few, the widespread confusion got people talking… about Bitcoin, of course—but not as many as you might think.

BitInfoCharts shows that there were more than 54,000 tweets mentioning Bitcoin on Wednesday, July 15, and the tally the following day exceeded 56,000 tweets. Thursday’s tally was the highest amount of Bitcoin tweets since May 12, the day after the Bitcoin halving. 

Even amid Wednesday’s furor around the hack, the surging total couldn’t match that of May 11, in which more than 82,000 tweets were registered.

In the month prior to July 14, the amount of daily tweets about Bitcoin never hit 30,000. Even yesterday, the number dropped back down to just over 24,000. The all-time record was set on December 7, 2017, during which more than 155,000 Bitcoin tweets were recorded.

This week’s Twitter hack caused ample chaos on the social network, with verified accounts from the likes of Joe Biden, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Barack Obama, Apple, and Uber hacked to tweet out the scam, which promised to send back double the amount of Bitcoin sent to the specified address.

Twitter, which temporarily froze access to the afflicted accounts along with many other verified accounts, claims that social engineering was used to gain access to internal tools that allowed hackers to tweet from those high-profile accounts.

Given the immense scale of the attack, it’s somewhat surprising that just 12.5 Bitcoin (nearly $120,000) was coaxed from users who sent funds in the hopes of receiving double the amount in return.

On Friday, blockchain analytics firm Elliptic reported that about 22% of the funds received in the wallet had been moved to a Wasabi wallet, which uses the CoinJoin privacy technique to make Bitcoin more difficult to trace.

The price of Bitcoin sank nearly $200 on Thursday in the wake of the Twitter hack and Bitcoin scam, but had largely rebounded by the end of Friday.