Customers are shown entering a Walmart in California in 2019. Walmart recently filed multiple applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, revealing its plans to create its own cryptocurrency and collection of NFTs.

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Bitcoin and Ethereum have seen relative stability over the past week after having brief momentous drops last week, with Bitcoin falling below $40,000 for the first time since August 2021 and Ethereum dropping below $3,000 for the first time since September 2021. Bitcoin’s price was below $42,000 and Ethereum was below $3,200 throughout the day Tuesday. 

Meanwhile, recent filings reveal Walmart’s plans to offer crypto and NFTs. Crypto exchange briefly suspended withdrawals on Monday while it investigated reports of “suspicious activity” on users’ accounts. And a major U.S. banking trade group wants people to know that the industry is embracing crypto.

Here’s more on the latest crypto news investors should know about:

  • Walmart may be quietly entering the metaverse with the intent to make and sell virtual goods. It has plans to create its own cryptocurrency and collection of NFTs, according to several applications filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last month. The retail giant is the latest corporate player to show interest in crypto and the metaverse, which can potentially lead new revenue streams for retailers.
  • Crypto exchange suspended withdrawals on its platform Monday after there were reports from a “small” number of users of “suspicious activity.” The Singapore-based firm made the announcement via Twitter, adding that all funds were safe. After several hours, the exchange issued an update saying users were required to sign back into their accounts and reset their two-factor authentication. Technical issues and widespread outages on crypto trading platforms are nothing new. Over the last year, similar situations have occurred with crypto exchanges Coinbase, Binance, and Kraken.
  • Rob Nichols, president of American Bankers Association, a major U.S. banking trade group, said in a recent blog post that crypto isn’t “going away” and banks are exploring ways to “safely and responsibly” introduce crypto service for customers. It’s further proof that crypto is becoming more mainstream among investors. But in order for there to be more mainstream adoption of crypto, banks need “regulatory clarity,” said Nichols.

Bitcoin is the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, and a good indicator of the crypto market in general, since other coins like Ethereum (and smaller altcoins) tend to follow its trends. Even though Bitcoin recently set another new all-time high, it was a pretty normal uptick for the crypto, which is notorious for its volatility. That’s not to say investors should take swings in either direction lightly, and this is also why investing experts recommend not making any major investment changes based on these normal fluctuations.

Cryptocurrency is still very new, and everything from innovation to regulation can have outsize impact for investors. Here’s how you can invest smartly, regardless of what’s making news or Bitcoin’s price swings.

How Investors Should Deal With Volatility

Cryptocurrency volatility is nothing new, and you should be comfortable with this if you decide to invest. 

Volatility can be attributed to an “immature market,” says Ollie Leech, learn editor at Coindesk, a cryptocurrency news outlet. Anything from a celebrity tweet to new federal regulation can send prices spiraling. 

“If Elon Musk puts hashtag Bitcoin in his Twitter bio, it sends Bitcoin up 10%,” says Leech. 

This unpredictability is part of the reason why investing experts warn against investing huge amounts of your portfolio into a risky asset like crypto. Many recommend keeping your crypto holdings to less than 5% of your total portfolio

For new investors, day-to-day swings can seem frightening. But if you’ve invested with a buy-and-hold strategy, dips are nothing to panic about, says Humphrey Yang the personal finance expert behind Humphrey Talks. Yang recommends a simple solution: don’t look at your investment. 

“Don’t check on it. That’s the best thing you can do. If you let your emotions get too much into it then you might sell at the wrong time, make the wrong decision,” says Yang.

This is the traditional “set it and forget it” advice that many traditional long-term investors follow. If you can’t get on board, and the extreme dips continue to cause you worry, then you might have too much riding on your cryptocurrency investments

“The most important thing any investor can do, whether they are investing in Bitcoin or stocks, is not just to have a plan in place, but to also have a plan they can stick with,” says Douglas Boneparth, a CFP and the president of Bone Fide Wealth. “While buying the dip might be attractive, especially with an asset that you really like, it might not always be the best idea at the moment.”

Other Recent Crypto News

  • Nearly $400 million worth of digital assets were stolen by North Korean hackers, according to a Chainalysis report published on Thursday. Ether accounted for most of the stolen funds, followed by altcoins, ERC-20 tokens, and Bitcoin, according to the report. According to Chainanalysis, security researchers believe many of last year’s attacks were carried out by a group labeled as advanced persistent threat 38 (APT38), also known as Lazarus Group.
  • The price of Dogecoin went up Friday after Elon Musk posted on Twitter that the memecoin can be used to buy Tesla merchandise. Dogecoin has risen over 12% over the past 24 hours to $0.19, according to CoinMarketCap. It’s the latest example of how Musk’s tweets can move crypto markets, which has been previously referred to as the “Elon effect.”
  • Several U.S. banks are joining together to offer their own stablecoin, which they’ll call USDF, according to a press release. Founding members of this new stablecoin include New York Community Bank, FirstBank and Sterling National Bank — all FDIC-insured institutions. USDF is an alternative to non-bank-issued stablecoins, such as Tether, and will be minted exclusively by U.S. banks. According to the release, USDF “addresses the consumer protection and regulatory concerns of non-bank issued stablecoins and offers a more secure option for transacting on blockchain.”
  • The Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers about a “new spin” on crypto scams. The U.S. consumer protection agency says scammers are calling people pretending to be from the government, law enforcement, or a local utility company and luring people to send them money through cryptocurrency ATMs. The FTC’s warning comes in the midst of rising cryptocurrency crimes. In 2021 alone, scammers took $14 billion worth of crypto, according to a recent report from blockchain data firm Chainalysis.
  • PayPal may launch its own stablecoin as it grows its footprint in the crypto sector, CoinDesk reported. A PayPal spokesman told CoinDesk in an emailed statement that the company is “exploring a stablecoin,” and will work closely with regulators if they move forward with the idea. PayPal has been actively growing its crypto business recently, increasing the amount of crypto its customers can purchase, as well as investing in educating its users on crypto and working to allow them to withdraw their crypto safely to third-party wallets.
  • Kim Kardashian is being sued over her involvement in an alleged cryptocurrency pump-and-dump scheme. The class action lawsuit, which was filed Jan. 7 in a California federal court, also names boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and retired NBA star Paul Pierce. The celebrities are accused in the lawsuit of colluding with the co-founders of a cryptocurrency called EthereumMax on an organized pump-and-dump scheme, in which a few investors boost a particular currency only to sell out once new investors have bought in and contributed to a rising price. Attempts to reach Kardashian, Mayweather, and Pierce for comment were unsuccessful, and the celebrities had not responded to the lawsuit in multiple media reports this week.
  • Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, CEO of crypto exchange Binance, has an estimated net worth of nearly $100 billion, according to new calculations from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index published. In terms of wealth, that puts him in the company of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. The Binance coin makes up the “majority” of his net worth, according to an interview with the Associated Press last November.
  • Scammers took a record $14 billion worth of cryptocurrency in 2021, up from $7.8 billion in 2020, according to blockchain data firm Chainalysis’ 2021 “Crypto Crime Report.” While that’s a big jump in criminal crypto activity, the widespread adoption of crypto by legitimate individuals and institutions actually pushed the total percentage of illicit cryptocurrency transaction volume as low as it’s ever been, the report says.
  • Kosovo’s government introduced a ban on cryptocurrency mining in an attempt to limit electricity consumption, according to a Reuters report. The country is currently facing the worst energy crisis in a decade due to coal-fired power plant outages and high import prices.
  • Matt Damon has people riled up on social media, this time for starring in an ad for a crypto-trading app in which he compares buying crypto to some of history’s greatest achievements — from mountaineers ascending Mt. Everest to astronauts exploring space. Damon is the latest example of celebrities, from Kim Kardashian to Tom Brady, hyping crypto.
  • Crypto exchanges and FTX both planning to run ads during the Super Bowl, the most watched annual television event in the country, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. It’s further evidence of cryptocurrency businesses looking to capitalize on growing interest by mainstream audiences.
  • Kevin Durant and his company Thirty Five Ventures signed a multiyear marketing deal with Coinbase, according to reporting by sports business news site Boardroom.TV. Brooklyn Nets star Durant will help promote the crypto exchange across his businesses and become a prominent advertising face of the brand. Durant’s partnership with Coinbase is the latest example of high-profile athletes jumping on the digital-asset wave.
  • Visa is launching new consulting and advisory services to advise its clients on crypto. The payments giant said recently in a press release that its crypto advisory practice will offer advice to financial institutions, retailers, and other firms to help them better understand “the crypto ecosystem.” While the move doesn’t directly affect consumers, it is further evidence that cryptocurrency is gaining more mainstream adoption within corporate America — which generally has a positive influence on the value of investors’ crypto holdings. 
  • The U.S. needs more crypto regulation, Gensler said once again in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that published recently. Cryptocurrency fits into the “broad remit” of the SEC, Gensler said in the interview. “I’ve said publicly, ‘Come in, work with the SEC, get registered.’ It’s really important to get that investor protection.” The comments echo remarks Gensler made to the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee earlier this month.
  • Executives from Coinbase, Circle, Stellar, FTX, and other crypto companies testified at a congressional hearing recently. Led by Democratic California Rep. Maxine Waters, the hearing is titled “Digital Assets and the Future of Finance: Understanding the Challenges and Benefits of Financial Innovation in the United States.” The U.S. House Committee on Financial Services has had a clear and growing focus on cryptocurrency and its risks to U.S. consumers and investors.
  • The Staples Center in Los Angeles — home of pro sports teams including the NBA’s Lakers and Clippers — will rebrand as the Arena starting Christmas Day, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday. will pay $700 million for the naming rights, the LA Times reported.
  • The infrastructure bill signed by President Biden includes provisions that firm up tax reporting requirements for cryptocurrency exchanges, which has implications for investors. “I think a lot of folks are in for a big tax surprise,” South Carolina-based CFP Grant Maddox told us previously.
  • The Biden administration has proposed legislation that would effectively treat stablecoin issuers as banks. Top U.S. officials have said for months that more cryptocurrency regulation was necessary, and this week’s report takes it a step further by defining what it could look like.
  • Jelena McWilliams, the chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) told Reuters top U.S. officials are looking for clearer ways banks and their clients can hold cryptocurrency. “If we don’t bring this activity inside the banks, it is going to develop outside of the banks. … The federal regulators won’t be able to regulate it,” McWilliams told Reuters. McWilliams announced her resignation in December, saying she would leave the post effective Feb. 4, 2022.
  • Cryptocurrency made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange in October in the form of a Bitcoin-linked ETF. The fund trades under the ticker BITO, and is the first investment product approved by the SEC linked to crypto assets. But the fund doesn’t directly hold Bitcoin — just Bitcoin futures contracts. This is an important distinction and investors should be aware before they buy in. 
  • Mastercard announced it will partner with Bakkt to offer a “broad set of cryptocurrency solutions and services” for merchants, banks, and financial technology firms in the U.S. “Consumers, in turn, will experience expanded access to the digital asset ecosystem,” according to a press release
  • Popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced recently it is partnering with Facebook to pilot a new digital wallet, named Novi. The wallet will enable individuals to send and receive money abroad “instantly, securely, and with no fees,” according to a Coinbase blog post. The popular cryptocurrency exchange has also partnered with the NBA for a sponsorship deal, marking another major partnership for the platform.
  • Coinbase also announced it will be creating Coinbase NFT, a “peer-to-peer marketplace for minting, purchasing, showcasing, and discovering NFTs.” The announcement comes after an SEC scuffle over another Coinbase product, Coinbase Earn, last month. 
  • U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell spoke at the House Financial Services Committee meeting recently and clarified comments from a July hearing where he expressed interest in cryptocurrency regulation. Powell says he has “no intention” of banning cryptocurrencies.
  • Vitalik Buterin, the creator of popular cryptocurrency Ethereum, was named to the TIME 100 list of the most influential people of 2021. Alexis Ohanian, former executive chairman of Reddit, wrote of Buterin: “What makes Vitalik so special, though, is that he is a builder’s builder. No one person could’ve possibly come up with all of the uses for Ethereum, but it did take one person’s idea to get it started. From there, a new world has opened up, and given rise to new ways of leveraging blockchain technology.”

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