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Weekly Flip Thru: Walmart Bets Big on Crypto Payments and Mastercard Works to Help Banks Offer Crypto to Customers

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Scanning the horizon for big crypto news? Big things are continuing to happen throughout the cryptoscape, and the Weekly Flip Thru is here to help you spot them. This week, we’re looking at signs that may indicate a price floor for bitcoin. A major payments processor is furthering its push to facilitate mainstream crypto adoption. Lastly, one of the biggest employers in the United States is betting on crypto payments becoming a fixture for its millions of customers.

Here are the crypto stories we’re keeping an eye on for the week of October 24, 2022.

Mastercard Looks for Ways to Help Banks Offer Crypto to Customers (CNBC)

Crypto and banks have a somewhat cool relationship. Remember, banks have proven their ability to handle physical assets or act as a broker between investors and markets. Meanwhile, crypto is intriguing to so many because of its potential to decentralize financial systems. But what if there was a trusted third party to act as a bridge between banks and crypto? That’s what Mastercard is hoping to accomplish with its newly announced bridge between Paxos, a crypto trading platform that’s already used by PayPal, and banks. Mastercard and Paxos pledged to take on the heavy lifting of compliance and security while banks could focus on the customer. This partnership is set to roll out in early 2023, and Mastercard declined to name which banks would participate in the pilot program.

Walmart CTO Bets on Crypto Becoming “an Important Part” of Customers’ Lives (Yahoo! Finance)

The CTO of Walmart intimated that crypto payments would be working their way into customers’ everyday lives, saying “crypto will become an important part of how customers transact” last week. That’s a substantial tip of the hat when it comes from the Chief Tech Officer of the largest private employer in the United States. Walmart previously made waves in the Web3 and metaverse conversation by seeking several patents for virtual goods and services in late 2021. Will customers begin browsing the retail giant’s store shelves via VR one day? That remains to be seen. Regardless of the virtual frontiers that the big box retail giant eventually hopes to explore, customers are currently gaining more exposure to live streaming shopping experiences through integration with social media influencers (think QTV meets Instagram Reels). These live-streamed, mobile-first shopping experiences could be an easy avenue for crypto payments to gain more mainstream adoption, and Walmart is looking to position itself as a partner for those shopping excursions that happen in a metaverse or metaverse-adjacent space.

$750M of BTC Exits Exchanges in Largest Outflow Since June 2022 (CoinTelegraph)

More than 37,800 bitcoin (BTC) was taken off exchanges by investors during the last week. Market watchers have speculated this major movement of BTC off exchanges shows investors are in accumulation mode. This accumulation movement could be a precursor for investors who are ready to sell. These types of major outflows are typically viewed as a bullish sign for the market. Last time there was this much BTC moved off exchanges, the price of BTC hit a low mark in June of 2022 before rallying to a 6-week high of $24,000.

France Driving Toward Crypto Tax Overhaul in 2023 (CoinDesk)

Just days after the European Union signed the landmark Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) framework into law, France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire revealed his wish for France to become “the European hub of the crypto asset ecosystem.” Part of that aspiration is building a brand-new set of crypto tax rules, according to Le Maire, and it wouldn’t be a straightforward copy of how France taxes stocks. The focus on crypto tax regulation arrives during an exciting atmosphere for crypto companies and news in France, with announcing its new $150 million HQ in Paris and Binance investing $100 million in French startup incubator Station F.

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