More than $50 million Bitcoin liquidations were triggered on Monday after a rumor about Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) set Twitter ablaze.
“Interpol Red Notice for CZ,” read an encrypted message tweeted by popular Crypto Twitter personality “Cobie” on Monday. The message, a lengthy combination of numbers and letters, was encrypted using the SHA-256 cryptographic hash function which secures Bitcoin and several other cryptocurrencies.
Although decrypting the hash function in a few hours is considered theoretically impossible, someone uncovered and disclosed the hidden meaning, which quickly made the rounds on social media.
AHHHHH IM HEARING THINGS
brb withdrawing a decent chunk just in case. pic.twitter.com/2weMwBMP7C
— hyuk (@hyuktrades) April 3, 2023
A potential international arrest warrant for CZ, who was recently sued by U.S. regulators for allegedly evading laws in the country, did not seem entirely out of the question to some market participants who bought into the rumor.
Bitcoin dipped down to an intra-day low of $27,414 shortly after the rumor spread and over $50 million BTC liquidations took place over the same period, according to data from Coinglass.
A spokesperson for Binance labeled the rumor false in an emailed statement to The Block.
A few hours later, Cobie addressed the encrypted message at the center of the chaos, saying that a person he had discussed the rumor with had likely leaked the content of the hidden message to create a stir.
“Looks like someone I discussed the rumour with (handful of possible ppl) leaked the seed to “cause a stir” at my expense, removing the context of rumour, etc. Highly doubt any theories about bruteforcing/salt/etc, since no others have been broken including the one I posted after,” he said.
“Anyway, it was not supposed to be readable ever unless I revealed it, so sorry about that. Will once again narrow down the list of ppl I can trust. Since tweeting only leads to bad things instead of good things I will probably do it much less in the future,” said Cobie.