NexChangeNOW Daily Briefing – Friday Dec 13, 2019

Listen to the audio:

What Moved Global Markets
– US/China trade deal: Stocks jumped to all-time highs on Thursday after President Donald Trump said in a tweet both sides were getting “VERY close to a BIG DEAL with China. They want it, and so do we!” Thursday marked the first time since Nov. 27 that stocks hit record highs.
CNBC reports that the Trump administration has offered to scrap its next round of tariffs on Chinese goods set to take effect Sunday and slash some existing duties in half.
– The whole situation had a significant impact on Apple stocks. iPhone shipments in China dropped 35.4% in November compared to the same time last year, Credit Suisse analysts said Thursday, despite a slight increase in the Chinese smartphone market at the same time. Hence, Apple stock was down nearly 1% in premarket trading. The analysts cited the looming December 15 deadline that could see more tariffs imposed on Apple products as part of the ongoing U.S.-China trade war.

Crypto Prices (from CoinMarketCap)
Bitcoin: Up 0.65% to $7,250.36
Total trading volume (24h): $17.49+ billion USD

Ethereum: Up 1.66% to $145.15
Total trading volume (24h): $7.47+ billion USD

3 biggest movers 24 hours
Biggest Mover 1: RSK Smart Bitcoin (RBTC) is up 376.91% to $34,217.07
Biggest Mover 2: RealTract (RET) is up 269.38% to $0.003458
Biggest Loser: MeconCash (MCH) is down 64.80% to $0.252465

What moved Crypto Markets (i.e. digital assets)
– Cryptocurrency exchange Binance and peer-to-peer (P2P) trading platform Paxful have joined hands to bring bitcoin to the masses. The partnership will allow Binance users to utilize Paxful’s platform to buy bitcoin (BTC) with 10 fiat currencies directly on
– Bitcoin miners in China now control 65% of the crypto network’s processing power (hash rate), according to research from CoinShares. China’s Sichuan province alone produces 54% of global hash rate. Bitmain’s market share by hash rate, however, continues to decline and now stands at around 66%.

Other Specialties
Fintech: ING, the largest bank in the Netherlands with over $980 billion in total assets, is said to be getting into a crowded cryptocurrency custody market. A Reuters report on Thursday, citing “people familiar with the matter” said that ING is working on developing technology to help clients safely store cryptocurrencies. The custody project is being run out of Amsterdam and is still in its early days.
Healthtech: Cigna’s Express Scripts, one of the biggest pharmacy benefits managers, is throwing a much-needed lifeline to healthtech startups. It is vetting companies offering cutting-edge treatments for certain conditions, such as diabetes management or respiratory health, then putting them into a “formulary” of recommendations for health insurance plans and doctors. By categorizing digital therapies into medication-like tiers, PBMs can make the case that payers are protected from higher costs while providing better access to the new treatments.

The move will also help the struggling digital health sector. In 2018 alone, venture investors poured $8.1 billion into digital health companies that aim to bring novel technology to the $3.5 trillion medical sector. However, start-ups in the space have seen relatively few exit events like IPOs or acquisitions. That has prompted some entrepreneurs to make the case that digital health has been one of the most disappointing bets of the past few decades.

Al: Artificial intelligence could aid in the search for life on alien planets and detection of nearby asteroids, according to NASA officials. NASA hopes to use artificial intelligence, or A.I., technologies such as machine learning to interpret data that will be collected by future telescopes like the James Webb Space Telescope or the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission, according to a statement from the space agency.
Smart cities: Google pledges $4 million to support climate action in cities. Grants from the fund will be used to support non-profits and academic institutions in Europe and Latin America that are leading data-driven climate action efforts in select cities.

NexChangeNOW Pick of the Day
Tracking Russian Energy Consumption, Blockchain Style