SEC rejects Ark 21 Shares’ Bitcoin ETF application

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SEC rejects Ark 21 Shares’ Bitcoin ETF application; FBI blocks $130 million in ransomware; Amazon plans to launch an NFT initiative

SEC rejects Ark 21 Shares’ Bitcoin ETF application

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rejected Ark 21 Shares’ application for a spot Bitcoin ETF.

Not surprisingly for the crypto industry, the SEC has once again rejected the spot Bitcoin ETF application from Ark Investment Management and 21Shares.

The regulator also rejected the two companies’ spot Bitcoin ETF applications last April.

The duo re-applied last May after the refusal decision. However, the regulator once again rejected the application, citing concerns about fraud and manipulation.

If approved, the ETF would be jointly managed by Cathie Wood’s Ark Investment Management and 21Shares. The purpose of the proposed ETF was to allow investors to invest in Bitcoin within the confines of regulated exchanges.

The SEC believes that the crypto market is still dangerous due to fraud and manipulation. The regulator does not appear willing to approve a spot Bitcoin ETF proposal without a comprehensive regulatory framework being established.

Amazon plans to launch an NFT initiative

Amazon has taken action to launch an NFT initiative. According to Blockworks’ news, Amazon, one of the world’s largest retail companies, is in the process of preparing to launch an NFT initiative.

According to anonymous sources, Amazon is launching a digital asset initiative and plans to launch an NFT initiative in the spring. Two of the sources pointed out that the company focuses on NFT applications and blockchain-based games.

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Allegedly, Amazon wants to allow its customers to earn NFT for free by playing blockchain-based games.

Sources said that Amazon’s efforts are still in development. The company may announce such an initiative in April.

Another source stated that Amazon has recently started investigating different web3 initiatives. The company even considers offering a variety of industry-related prerequisites when hiring.

Although Amazon Web Services has posted job postings for developers and engineers in the web3 space, it is not known for its crypto or blockchain-related moves.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy stated that the company is open to companies that sell NFTs and that his company does not have an attitude towards cryptocurrencies in general.

Amazon Web Services recently announced that it has partnered with Ava Labs, the company behind the Avalanche blockchain. After this partnership, there was an increase in the value of AVAX, the native token of the Avalanche ecosystem.

Amazon has not made an official statement on the subject at this time.

FBI blocks $130 million in ransomware

Ransomware has plagued many institutions, organizations, and individuals, encrypting the victim’s files and demanding a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key. It also puts the industry in a bad mood, as payment is usually made in a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin to protect the attacker’s anonymity. It is true that ransomware attacks place stress on individuals and organizations alike, as losing access to important files and data can be devastating.

The FBI, which has been actively working on this issue for a long time, continues to carry out its crypto-focused operations. In a recent press release, it was announced that the Hive ransomware group, which is located in more than 80 countries and targets hospitals, schools and banking centers, has been cracked.

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The US Department of Justice, on the other hand, has recently started a war against bad actors who hide behind crypto. In the latest statements, he announced the months-long operation against the ransomware group Hive, which has targeted more than 1,500 victims, including hospitals, schools, financial firms and critical infrastructure in more than 80 countries around the world.

Since late July 2022, the FBI has infiltrated Hive’s computer networks, seized the decryption keys and made them available to victims worldwide, preventing victims from paying the requested $130 million ransom.

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