NexChangeNOW Daily Briefing – Friday Jan 24, 2020

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What Moved Global Markets
– The Wuhan virus keeps popping up on market news headlines. In addition to airlines and travel companies that are negatively impacted by the deadly coronavirus, large-format movie theatre company IMAX is also taking a hit. Shares of IMAX are down more than 4% as the Chinese government ordered distributors to cancel new film releases to discourage the public from congregating in crowded places. Stocks are falling around midday ET as Wall Street takes some profit as new earnings reports come out while investors gauge the potential impact of the coronavirus on the global economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 173 points as Travelers led the losses. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq pulled back.
General Electric — Shares of GE rose more than 3% after Morgan Stanley raised its rating of the embattled industrial conglomerate to overweight from equal weight. The firm said GE’s outlook is improving, saying that “the story has shifted from one of financial distress to a budding turnaround.” Boeing stock climbed as much as 2% on high trading volume, rebounding after three consecutive down days.

Crypto Prices (from CoinMarketCap)
Bitcoin: Down 3.15% to $8,349.04
Total trading volume (24h): $25.33+ billion USD

Ethereum: Down 3.07% to $161.18
Total trading volume (24h): $10.21+ billion USD

3 biggest movers 24 hours
Biggest Mover 1: Unibright (UBT) is up 133.14% to $0.050079
Biggest Mover 2: TCOIN (TCN) is up 74.29% to $0.012848
Biggest Loser: BenePit Protocol (BNP) is down 61.73% to $0.000595

What moved Crypto Markets (i.e. digital assets)
– Stablecoin issuer Tether is launching a new token backed by physical gold. Tether Gold “represents ownership of one troy fine ounce of physical gold on a specific gold bar,” a press release said Thursday. The new stablecoins will be issued on Ethereum and Tron as ERC-20 and TRC20 tokens. The gold backing each token will be stored in a Swiss vault, the release claimed, without naming the facility. Tether will charge no custody fees and “has direct control over the physical gold storage.”
– Cryptocurrency exchange and custodian Gemini has said it has passed a second-level security compliance test conducted by “Big Four” auditing firm Deloitte. Announcing the news on Thursday, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss-founded Gemini claimed to be the “world’s first” crypto exchange and custodian to have completed the System and Organization Controls (SOC) 2 Type 2 examination.

Other Specialties
Fintech: A rising number of central banks are likely to issue their own digital currencies in the next few years, research by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) showed on Thursday, as interest in the technology heats up. Some 20% of 66 central banks surveyed by the BIS said they were likely to issue a digital currency within the next six years, up from around 10% a year earlier. One in ten said they were likely to do so within the next three years. In all, 80% of central banks said they were looking at the technology, up from seven in ten surveyed last year.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has for the first time developed a framework for central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). The framework, dubbed the “CBDC Policy‑Maker Toolkit,” provides a guide for central banks around the world to help them decide if CBDC is right for them. For those who are already researching, it helps them “make progress quickly,” said the WEF.
Healthtech: Apple on Thursday announced its new “Apple Watch Connected” gym initiative, a new series of partnerships with fitness facilities that makes it easier for people who own Apple Watches to track workouts, buy stuff and earn rewards for working out. It’s Apple’s latest fitness expansion, helping it to build an entire ecosystem around the Apple Watch and providing owners with more places to use it to improve their fitness tracking.
Al & Smart cities: An entire city is to take part in NHS experiment in Artificial Intelligence to ease pressure on GPs and hospitals, under new plans. Patients will be able to Skype medics via smartphones, or receive a diagnosis by chatbots, under the deal agreed by one of the largest hospital trusts in the West Midlands. Everyone living in Wolverhampton will be given access to an app – created by private firm Babylon – allowing them to book GP and hospital appointments, with some offered remotely.

NexChangeNOW Pick of the Day
Singapore, Mastercard, Others Form Digital Trade Alliance