NexChangeNOW Daily Briefing – Wednesday Feb 12, 2020

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    What Moved Global Markets
    – Coronavirus update: The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq indexes scaled new highs on Tuesday as investors took heart from remarks by a top Chinese health adviser that the coronavirus outbreak may be peaking. After more than 1,000 deaths and weeks of uncertainty that roiled global financial markets, China’s foremost medical adviser on the epidemic said infections may be over by April.
    – The World Health Organization (WHO) warned of a global threat potentially worse than terrorism. The world must “wake up and consider this enemy virus as public enemy number one.”
    – American households added $193 billion of debt in the fourth quarter, driven by a surge in mortgage loans, and overall debt levels rose to a new record at $14.15 trillion, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said on Tuesday.

    Crypto Prices (from CoinMarketCap)
    Bitcoin: Up 4.95% to $10,252.84
    Total trading volume (24h): $38.26+ billion USD

    Ethereum: Up 9.95% to $242.04
    Total trading volume (24h): $17.98+ billion USD

    3 biggest movers 24 hours
    Biggest Mover 1: FuturoCoin (FTO) is up 2,512.95% to $1.25
    Biggest Mover 2: FABRK (FAB) is up 200.03% to $0.043536
    Biggest Mover 3: Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR) is up 124.53% to $0.042402
    Biggest Loser: TCOIN (TCN) is down 82.38% to $0.002360

    What moved Crypto Markets (i.e. digital assets)
    – Google has become a member of the governing body for distributed ledger startup Hedera Hashgraph, according to a Tuesday announcement. The cloud-focused business unit said in a blog post that “as part of our council membership, Google Cloud will operate a Hedera network node, and make the ledger data available for analytics alongside GCP’s other public DLT datasets, bolstering GCP’s position as the cloud provider of choice for DLT networks and decentralized applications.”
    The price of the networks’ token, HBAR, popped on the news, spiking more than 60% on the day according to CoinMarketCap.
    – Crypto exchange OKEx has today launched its non-custodial or decentralized exchange (DEX) – OKEx DEX – in test mode. The DEX runs on OKEx’s native blockchain network, OKChain, a testnet of which went live today. The testnet has been delayed by over six months – it was scheduled to get launched last June.
    – Over 12,000 bitcoins (currently worth over $117 million), associated with alleged crypto Ponzi scheme PlusToken, have just moved to two new blockchain addresses. The two addresses are here and here, Chiachih Wu, vice president of research at Chinese blockchain security firm PeckShield, tweeted today. The first address contains over 11,999 bitcoins and the second address contains over 424 bitcoins. Wu said the new addresses look like “cold wallets.” Cold storage refers to keeping private keys on a hardware device, disconnected from the internet.

    Other Specialties
    Fintech: Investment banking giant JPMorgan is reportedly in discussions to merge its blockchain unit Quorum with Ethereum development studio ConsenSys. Reuters reported the news on Tuesday, citing “people familiar with the plans.” The deal could formally be announced within the next six months. Notably, Quorum is an Ethereum-based blockchain network.
    Healthtech: Top Innovator in the Accenture HealthTech Innovation Challenge – Health North America has been determined. It’s Carrot Health, a leading provider of healthcare solutions powered by social determinants of health (SDoH). Carrot Health was one of 11 companies to compete in the final, which took place in Houston and featured the winners from the regional HealthTech Innovation challenges held at Accenture’s Innovation Hubs in Boston and San Francisco. Carrot Health was selected for its Carrot MarketView™ software and analytics platform, which generates insights for growth, quality and health using social, economic, behavioural and environmental data. MarketView helps healthcare organizations harness consumer and clinical data to deliver a 360-degree view of members and patients. 
    AI: White House officials unveiled plans to increase federal funding for the development of artificial intelligence and quantum computing, two cutting-edge technologies that defence officials say will play a key role in national security. The funding, part of the Trump administration’s $4.8 trillion budget proposal, would direct more money for A.I. research to the Defense Department and the National Science Foundation. The administration also wants to spend $25 million on what it calls a national “quantum internet,” a network of machines designed to make it much harder to intercept digital communication.
    Smart cities: International Data Corporation forecasts the global smart cities market to generate $124 billion in revenue in 2020. Revenue generation within the smart cities market in 2020 is expected to increase by 18.9% from 2019 level. In 2019, 29% of spending by the top 100 cities were made in smart initiatives of which one-third was spent on use cases related to resilient energy and infrastructure, due to increased focus on, and investment in smart grids. Data-driven public safety and intelligent transportation represented around 18% and 14% of overall spending respectively. In 2020, smart grids (electricity and gas combined) still attract the largest share of investments.

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