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What Moved Global Markets
– Wall Street hit record highs for the third straight session on Monday, as upbeat domestic data from China and cooling trade tensions between Washington and Beijing improved investor outlook on global economic growth. Apple Inc (AAPL.O) rose about 2%, providing the biggest boost to the S&P 500 .SPX and Nasdaq, as tariffs scheduled to go into effect on Dec. 15 on a variety of consumer products including iPhones were suspended.
– Oil top $60 on US-China trade deal, trades near 3-month high.
What moved Crypto Markets (i.e. digital assets)
– Despite the obvious growth of the stock market, the crypto market doesn’t show the same enthusiasm about the US/China trade deal.
– The Russian darknet market Hydra is planning an initial coin offering (ICO) in order to expand the marketplace internationally. The sale is set to start on December 16 and Hydra administrators hope to raise $146 million from the token sale. The Hydra marketplace has been around since 2015 and the DNM claims to have 2.5 million active users with 100,000 daily transactions.
– Lawyers representing users of the Canadian digital platform QuadrigaCX have asked the police to exhume the body of its founder, whose sudden death last year trapped millions of dollars in digital currencies in its accounts, to make sure it’s him. Gerald Cotten died in December 2018 while travelling to India due to complications from Crohn’s disease. The 30-year-old was the only person with access to passwords for the digital wallets holding some C$180 million ($135 million). In the wake of his death, QuadrigaCX, which had about 115,000 users, was unable to locate or secure a significant amount of cryptocurrency reserves.
– The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro is trying to keep up – he wants the nation state-issued cryptocurrency, Petro (PTR) to have the same usability properties as a physical currency. To do this, he announced a national airdrop of El Petro – authorities will be airdropping 0.5 PTR ($30) next week to eligible citizens who register with the Petro App. The Venezuelan leader went on to say that the state’s electronic payment system will help the country “seek a definitive exit to the economic war.” Maduro remarked that thousands of Venezuelan merchants will be onboarded by next year and the state’s digital currency system is “taking the right steps to consolidate the economy.”
Fintech: R3 has closed what it’s calling the largest open-account trade finance trial ever conducted on its Corda platform. This trial included more than 70 organizations from more than 25 countries. Upwards of 340 participants from those organizations were involved and came out from sectors like financial services, information technology, telecommunications, logistics, the maritime industry, real estate, hospitality and the automotive industry. The trial tested working capital applications developed by TradeIX and focused on the receivables finance product on Marco Polo’s platform. Accounts receivables financing, also called factoring, is where a business sells account receivables to a third party at a discount in return for immediate cash payment.
Healthtech: Accenture has named 11 companies as finalists for the Accenture HealthTech Innovation Challenge, which brings together leading-edge startups with prominent health companies to tackle some of North America’s greatest health challenges. Those among finalists: a pharmacy benefit manager redefining prescription drug pricing for employers, unions and government entities, a digital coaching program that uses evidence-based methodology to monitor and motivate people struggling with drug, opioid, alcohol and tobacco/nicotine use, an online medical practice helping hypothyroid patients better manage and treat their chronic condition and other promising companies chosen from over 2000 participants of the contest.
Al: Intel just bought AI chipmaker Habana for $2 billion. In July, Habana announced its Gaudi AI training processor, which the Tel Aviv startup promised was capable of beating GPU-based systems by 4x. The company has been rumoured to be a target for an Intel acquisition for a while now, as Intel looks to get out in front of the A.I. market.
Smart cities: Uber plans to “double down” on its investment into electric bikes and scooters in 2020, with a particular focus on Europe, an executive at the company said. The firm bought Jump, a bike-sharing service based in the U.S., last year betting on growth in the so-called “micro-mobility” space. It has since rolled out the company’s two-wheelers internationally, mostly in European cities. “We want to double down on micro-mobility,” Christian Freese, Jump’s head of EMEA, told CNBC in an interview. “We have seen how beautifully it works with our core business and ride-sharing, and want to invest more and deeper, especially in Europe.”
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