Listen to the audio:
What Moved Global Markets
– Coronavirus: China’s stock market plummets as the country’s death toll climbs past 360.
– The first death from the coronavirus outside of China was reported on Sunday and the Beijing government took steps to shore up an economy hit by travel curbs and business shut-downs because of the epidemic. A 44-year-old Chinese man from the city of Wuhan in Hubei province, the epicentre of the epidemic, travelled to the Philippines and died there on Saturday, the Philippines’ Department of Health said. The vice governor of China’s Hubei province, Xiao Juhua, said the virus outbreak was still “severe and complicated”. A total of 304 people have died in China, the National Health Commission said on Sunday. Infections in China jumped to 14,380 as of Saturday, it said.
– Apple Inc on Saturday said it would shut all of its official stores and corporate offices in mainland China until Feb 9. as fears over the coronavirus outbreak mounted. The coronavirus is threatening to disrupt large parts of China’s manufacturing machine and its global supply chains as the spread of infection and strict public health measures force companies and workers to remain idle.
– BREXIT! It finally happened. The United Kingdom finally cast off from the European Union on Friday for an uncertain future, with Brexiteers claiming victory and popping champagne corks for an “independence day” they said marked a new era for the country.
What moved Crypto Markets (i.e. digital assets)
– Cryptocurrency investor Arianna Simpson is joining Andreessen Horowitz as a deal partner. The founder and managing director of crypto hedge fund Autonomous Partners announced the news Friday on Twitter. She said she has “admired the brand and platform that a16z has built from afar.”
– Hankering for a Ferrari? Well, the only licensed stock exchange in Seychelles islands, is listing tokenized collectible cars worth over $200 million for retail and institutional investors. MERJ said Friday it is partnering with CurioInvest, a tokenization platform building on ethereum, to create tokens representing shares in “supercars” like the Ferrari. While the sale is open to institutional and retail investors, purchases are expected to be driven by institutional investors and those from regions with restrictions on auto imports, such as China. A $1.1 million Ferrari F12tdf will be the first car listed on the exchange, and MERJ said it might list as many as 500 vehicles.
– In a recent tweet, Ethereum network co-founder Vitalik Buterin said Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) are not the same. “Bitcoin Cash is not Bitcoin,” Buterin said in a Feb 1 tweet responding to Brad Mills’ accusation of Buterin as Bitcoin Cash promoter. Several tweets exist that might suggest Buterin is not 100% against BCH, although he clearly made the distinction that BCH is not BTC, even back in 2017.
Fintech: An amusing survey conducted by Business Insider: how people actually define “fintech”? BI surveyed 21 startups, and their responses varied widely. Beyond Big Tech and Wall Street, startups most would call “fintechs” are scooping up billions in VC funding from traditional venture firms and corporates alike. Some of the people we asked see fintech as an emerging sector, while others pointed out that the ATM, invented in the 1960s, was the first fintech innovation. And some wondered whether big tech firms experimenting with checking accounts and payments products could or should call themselves fintechs.
Healthtech: The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) together with the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Dubai Healthcare City and other relevant authorities has launched a blockchain-based health data storage platform. According to The Emirates News Agency on Feb. 2, the blockchain-based platform aims to improve the efficiency of the ministry, and will help users streamline the search for health facilities and its licensed medical and technical personnel, as well as to inquire about medicine supply chains. The new data storage blockchain platform will help secure an unchangeable, decentralized and encrypted database with high-security protection to verify data validity and reliability.
AI: Artificial intelligence could be throwing off the search for alien life just as much as humans’ own cognitive biases, according to a new paper published in the scientific journal Acta Astronautica. When a neural network was shown an image from a crater on the dwarf planet Ceres, it identified curious patterns, including both a square (which people also saw) and a triangle. After the neural net detected the triangular shape in the images, people in the study also began to see it, even though they hadn’t previously. It’s an example of how false positives from AI could trip up extraterrestrial studies.
Smart cities: 100 new airports, 5 new smart cities, 10,000 KM gas grid to be developed in India. To augment India’s infrastructure and create jobs, the government has launched Rs 103 lakh crore worth infra projects besides providing about Rs 1.70 lakh crore for transport infrastructure and accelerating highways construction, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday. Presenting the Union Budget 2020-21 in Parliament, Sitharaman said the focus is on infrastructure for economic development.
NexChangeNOW Pick of the Day
SEC: Unlike Donuts, Telegram’s Grams ‘Have No Intrinsic Value’