NexChangeNOW Daily Briefing – Thursday Jan 16, 2020

Listen to the audio:

What Moved Global Markets
– Signed, sealed and delivered. The US and China finally signed a “phase one” trade agreement. The deal includes provisions to root out intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers and increase Chinese purchases of U.S. goods, though it leaves open questions about enforcement.
– China also agreed to purchase an additional $200 billion in U.S. goods over the next two years as part of the “phase one” trade deal, over a baseline of $186 billion in purchases in 2017. The Trump administration aims to start negotiating the next piece of the trade agreement before the November 2020 election.
– Stocks rose on Wednesday.
– The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 113 points higher, or 0.4%. The S&P 500 rose to trade near all-time high while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.1%. The major averages also reached record levels on Wednesday.

Crypto Prices (from CoinMarketCap)
Bitcoin: Down 1.41% to $8,664.65
Total trading volume (24h): $37.68+ billion USD

Ethereum: Down 3.11% to $160.83
Total trading volume (24h): $14.43+ billion USD

3 biggest movers 24 hours
Biggest Mover 1: Acute Angle Cloud (AAC) is up 159.53% to $0.003958
Biggest Mover 2: Game Stars (GST) is up 102.38% to $0.000872
Biggest Loser: CryptoVerificationCoin (CVCC) is down 54.95% to $6.91

What moved Crypto Markets (i.e. digital assets)
– Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said that airlines flying from Caracas, the capital city of the country, must pay for fuel in Petro cryptocurrency. Maduro announced the news at his annual speech to the ruling Constituent Assembly on Tuesday, as reported by France24.  Maduro did not specify whether the initiative applies to Venezuelan airlines alone or international carriers as well. The president reportedly also said that taxes and utility bills will be paid for in Petros going forward. “We’re opening a path to a new economy, to break old protocols and bureaucracies,” he added.
Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Launches Testing Ground for Blockchain Interoperability. The EEA is launching testnet to iron out interoperability issues between commercial ethereum projects. The EEA TestNet will operate as a pre-certification sandbox, where forks of ethereum can be standardized according to certain specifications set out previously by the EEA, which will make them interoperable with each other. There are now hundreds of companies working on enterprise versions of ethereum, plus an entirely new cohort of industry players joining the fold via Hyperledger’s ethereum-based member Besu, making standardization a priority.
– Fidelity Digital Assets will soon provide custody services for bitcoin held by London-based crypto investment firm Nickel Digital Asset Management. Founded in 2018 as the digital currency arm of Fidelity Investments, the $7.8 trillion investment management giant, Fidelity Digital Assets formed a U.K branch in Dec. 2019 to expand its custody and trade execution services to Europe. Nickel would be Fidelity Digital Assets’ first European partner fund, as the latter is set to help Nickel secure digital assets using long-term cold storage.
– The SEC released an investor alert that warned would-be investors about the risk involved with initial exchange offerings or IEOs. The release, published by the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, advised investors to “be cautious if considering an investment in an IEO” because promises around such offerings “can be used improperly to entice investors with the false promise of high returns in a new investment space.” Notably, the SEC said that “IEOs may be conducted in violation of the federal securities laws and lack many of the investor protections of registered and exempt securities offerings.”

Other Specialties
Fintech: Ant Financial prepares a huge fintech conference in Shanghai in April. Jack Ma’s firm says it expects up to 30,000 participants for the three-day Inclusion Fintech Conference. Keynotes and panels will cover the likes of the global digital economy, digital finance, innovative technology, commerce and cities, and sustainability between the 23rd and 25th of April.
Healthtech: This week, thousands of health executives descended on San Francisco for the annual J.P Morgan Healthcare Conference. Many said that confusion over the definition of “digital health” could hold back the sector. Other big topics at JPM Health included the lack of diversity at the executive ranks, drug pricing, big tech’s march into the sector, and the missing patient voice.
Al: Britain’s Ministry of Defense today announced contracts to create “revolutionary” warships that use artificial intelligence (AI) to make quicker decisions. The Defense and Security Accelerator (DASA), part of the Ministry of Defense (MoD), said that an initial funding wave of £4m had been allocated to the project.
Smart cities: Rising temperatures associated with climate change could result in more than 2,000 additional deaths each year from injuries like drownings, falls, car accidents, assault and suicide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Medicine. If each month in each state were 1.5 °C above the long-term average​, traffic accidents would be responsible for the greatest increase in injury deaths, ​according to the study.

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