NexChangeNOW Daily Briefing – Wednesday Feb 19, 2020

    Listen in:

    What Moved Global Markets
    – Coronavirus update: China reported on Tuesday its fewest new coronavirus infections since January and its lowest daily death toll for a week, but the World Health Organization said data suggesting the epidemic had slowed should still be viewed with caution.
    – Too little too late? Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Tuesday increased a relief fund to tackle the impact of the coronavirus outbreak as she urged residents to accept the government’s quarantine plans for returning passengers from a cruise ship stranded in Japan. Lam said the government would increase handouts to tackle the outbreak to HK$28 billion ($3.60 billion) from HK$25 billion pledged previously, to ease the impact on the Chinese-ruled city’s battered economy.
    – Apple Inc warned that its sales would suffer as the epidemic hurt both its supply in China and its demand, an announcement that knocked the wind out of global stock markets. Apple said it was unlikely to meet its March-quarter sales guidance because of slower iPhone production and weaker demand in China, sending its shares down 2.5%. Technology stocks dragged down Wall Street on Tuesday.
    – HSBC announced a massive restructuring that involved shedding $100 billion of assets and slashing 35,000 jobs over three years. It also warned about the impact of the coronavirus on its Asia business. The stock fell more than 6% in London trade. 
    – The euro fell towards a three-year low versus the dollar ahead of a highly watched German survey on Tuesday, which is expected to show a sharp slump in investor confidence and fuel growing pessimism about the outlook for Europe’s largest economy.

    Crypto Prices (from CoinMarketCap)
    Bitcoin: Up 4.20% to $10,138.95
    Total trading volume (24h): $48.78+ billion USD

    Ethereum: Up 4.30% to $280.57
    Total trading volume (24h): $26.66+ billion USD

    3 biggest movers 24 hours
    Biggest Mover 1: WhiteCoin (XWC) is up 508.45% to $0.141626
    Biggest Mover 2: Egoras Dollar (EUSD) is up 235.51% to $0.587589
    Biggest Loser: Agrocoin (AGRO) is down 40.73% to $0.038736

    What moved Crypto Markets (i.e. digital assets)
    – Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg proposed creating a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in a new financial regulation plan. Bloomberg’s plan recommends clarifying which agencies are responsible for overseeing the space, creating a framework to clarify when tokens are securities, “protecting consumers from cryptocurrency-related fraud,” clarifying the tax regime and defining the requirements for financial institutions in the space.
    – Blocknox, a subsidiary of second-largest German stock exchange Boerse Stuttgart, is expanding its cryptocurrency custody service to institutional players. According to an announcement from the bourse on Tuesday, Blocknox already provides custody for crypto assets on an “escrow basis” and has made the service available to users of Boerse Stuttgart’s BISON app and its digital assets exchange, BSDEX. The firm is now aiming to expand its services outside the group’s own offerings, planning to safeguard cryptocurrencies and “other digital assets” for institutional clients such as banks and asset managers.
    – Chinese cryptocurrency exchange FCoin closes down, and it may not be able to pay back around 7,000 to 13,000 BTC (around $67 million to $125 million) to its users as the platform went default. In a tell-all blog post titled “FCoin Truth,” the exchange founder and the former Huobi CTO Jian Zhang said the default was triggered neither by external hack nor scam, but a “data error” and a “decision error.”

    Other Specialties
    Fintech: Nigerian fintech Carbon announced today that it has set up a $100 000 Pan-African fund for budding tech entrepreneurs on the continent. Carbon claimed in a statement today that its Disrupt fund — which will invest up to $10 000 per startup for a five percent equity stake — is the first of its kind by an African fintech startup. In return, investees will get access to Carbon’s API, allowing them to leverage Carbon’s growing customer base and innovative technology platform, to get to market faster. The fintech said it has currently opened applications from companies with operations in Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Egypt.
    AI, Healthtech: Fifty-three percent of healthcare executives say that the healthcare industry is ahead of most other industries in artificial intelligence adoption, according to a survey from KPMG. However, 37 percent of respondents believe that the pace at which they’re implementing artificial intelligence is too slow, mainly because of factors related to cost and skill. Participants’ eagerness to adopt and use AI reflects the industry-wide belief that the technology has the potential to transform healthcare. According to 89 percent of respondents, AI is already creating efficiencies in their systems, and 91 percent say AI is increasing patient access to care.
    Smart cities: Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos will commit $10 billion to fund scientists, activists, nonprofits and other groups fighting to protect the environment and counter the effects of climate change. The Bezos Earth Fund will begin issuing grants this summer as part of the initiative.

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