NexChangeNOW Daily Briefing – Tuesday Feb 18, 2020

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What Moved Global Markets
– Coronavirus update: Across mainland China, officials said the total number of coronavirus cases rose by 2,048 to 70,548. That was slightly more new cases than were reported on Sunday, but hundreds fewer than reported on Saturday. Chinese authorities say the stabilisation in the numbers is a sign that measures taken to halt the spread of the disease are having an effect. However, epidemiologists say it is probably still too early to say how well the outbreak is being contained within China and its central Hubei province, where the virus first appeared.
– China’s central bank cut the interest rate on its medium-term lending on Monday, which is expected to pave the way for a reduction in the benchmark loan prime rate on Thursday. Beijing has also announced plans for cuts in taxes and fees. Even so, economists expect China’s economic growth to slow. Ratings agency Moody’s on Monday lowered its 2020 GDP growth forecast to 5.2%, making it likely China would miss a goal to double GDP over the decade to 2020.
– Gold prices on Monday eased from a near two-week high, as a monetary policy intervention by China’s central bank to limit the economic impact from the coronavirus outbreak also boosted demand for higher-risk assets.
– European shares hit a record high close on Monday as a rally in Italian banks and fresh attempts by China to limit the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak lifted investor spirits.

Crypto Prices (from CoinMarketCap)
Bitcoin: Down 1.35% to $9.728.20
Total trading volume (24h): $46.15+ billion USD

Ethereum: Up 6.22% to $269.01
Total trading volume (24h): $26.58+ billion USD

3 biggest movers 24 hours
Biggest Mover 1: Moss Coin (MOC) is up 159.31% to $0.054352
Biggest Mover 2: Bitex Global XBX Coin (XBX) is up 72.79% to $0.002823
Biggest Loser: Egoras Dollar (EUSD) is down 73.40% to $0.175130

What moved Crypto Markets (i.e. digital assets)
– Crypto exchange Binance’s Singapore unit has applied for a license under the country’s new Payment Services Act, which came into force on January 28. “We have already applied. We submitted the application pretty fast,” Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao told Bloomberg in an interview published Sunday. “Binance’s Singapore entity has been in close touch with the local regulators, and they have always been open-minded.” The new act requires crypto businesses operating in Singapore to be registered and licensed. They need to get one of these three licenses – money-changing license, standard payment institution, or major payment institution license.
– Bitcoin is going to hit a giant $400,000, celebrated TV host Max Keiser has said as he raises his price target for the first time since 2012. Speaking on news information show Infowars on Feb. 17, Keiser told host Alex Jones that his old prediction of $100,000 was now too conservative. He said: “I am officially raising my target for Bitcoin — and I first made this prediction when it was $1, I said this could go to $100,000 — I’m raising my official target for the first time in eight years, I’m raising it to $400,000.”
– Soccer fans in Europe will join the ranks of early blockchain adopters thanks to a new initiative by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). According to a Feb. 17 announcement, UEFA will distribute over one million soccer match tickets via a blockchain-enabled mobile application. The organization claims that this new ticketing system will make “entry into the stadium smooth, safe and secure.” The new blockchain-based mobile ticketing solution is meant to prevent the duplication and replication of tickets by “QR codes only being activated by Bluetooth once fans are in close proximity to the stadium.” The app will be available for download toward the end of May for both Android and iOS devices.
– A group of international Telegram Open Network (TON) contributors have submitted a court document criticizing United States regulators’ line (SEC) of attack against the project.  The group has formed a non-profit association, “The TON Community Foundation,” and collectively submitted the brief on Feb. 14. In their filing, the contributors state that the foundation has been formed to represent a “professional community of active participants in the TON project in whose interest it is to see the TON blockchain main-net launched as soon as possible.”

The foundation comprises 20 teams in the TON global community: over 2,000 computer scientists, engineers, programmers, and entrepreneurs — based in China, Russia, France and Spain, among other countries.

Other Specialties
Fintech: The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) announced on Feb. 17 the completion of a blockchain tokenization pilot using a platform developed by Nornickel within its regulatory sandbox. The bank subsequently proposed to amend Russia’s digital assets law to accommodate tokenization platforms. The platform is open to all organizations and it allows them to issue hybrid tokens backed by a basket of assets. The technology is said to expand financing possibilities for businesses while giving new investment options for its users.
Healthtech: Researchers are focusing on new health tech for some of the youngest patients. Recently two academic institutions published experimental design reports around baby tech. One focuses on a smart suit for tracking a babies movement, and the second revolves around the concept of a smart diaper from MIT.
AI: The European Union is set to release new regulations for artificial intelligence that are expected to focus on transparency and oversight as the region seeks to differentiate its approach from those of the United States and China. On Wednesday, EU technology chief Margrethe Vestager will unveil a wide-ranging plan designed to bolster the region’s competitiveness. While transformative technologies such as AI have been labelled critical to economic survival, Europe is perceived as slipping behind the U.S., where development is being led by tech giants, and China, where the central government is leading the push.
Smart cities: Global spending on smart city initiatives will total nearly $124 billion this year, according to a new forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Smart Cities Spending Guide. The $124 billion mark would represent an increase of 18.9% over 2019 spending. Last year, the top 100 cities investing in smart initiatives worldwide accounted for 29% of global spending.

NexChangeNOW Pick of the Day
Binance CEO: Crypto Exchange Has Applied for a Singapore License