NexChangeNOW Daily Briefing – Wednesday Feb 26, 2020

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    What Moved Global Markets
    – Coronavirus update: Italy is struggling to contain a rapid outbreak of the coronavirus, with new cases confirmed in the capitals of Tuscany and Sicily — the first case south of Rome. As of Tuesday morning, 283 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed. The number is rising rapidly: up from only three on Friday. Areas include Florence, the capital of Tuscany, and Palermo, in Sicily. Seven people died from the virus in the country. 
    – Investment banks including Citigroup Inc, Credit Suisse and Nomura have curbed trips to Italy on fears that the coronavirus outbreak across the north of the country could quickly spread across Europe.
    Iran’s deputy health minister and an MP have both tested positive for the new coronavirus amid a major outbreak in the country which has seen 15 people die as a result.
    – U.S. stock indexes rose on Tuesday with some help from earnings reports after the S&P 500 and the Dow Industrials logged their worst session in two years on worries over the worldwide spread of the virus helped.
    – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the U.S. stock market will crash if he loses the election this year. During a trip to India, Trump told business leaders stocks will jump higher if he is re-elected, but “if I don’t win you’re going to see a crash like you’ve never seen before.”

    Crypto Prices (from CoinMarketCap)
    Bitcoin: Down 4.24% to $9,208.78
    Total trading volume (24h): $43.38+ billion USD

    Ethereum: Down 8.32% to $241.29
    Total trading volume (24h): $22.76+ billion USD

    3 biggest movers 24 hours
    Biggest Mover 1: Covesting (COV) is up 210.85% to $0.148777
    Biggest Mover 2: BHEX Token (BHT) is up 73.10% to $0.052754
    Biggest Loser: Neurotoken (NTK) is down 78.84% to $0.002484

    What moved Crypto Markets (i.e. digital assets)
    – Russia’s richest man, Vladimir Potanin, is making steady headway with his blockchain-based trading platform for industrial assets and commodities. The billionaire’s venture, dubbed Atomyze, launched today, Feb. 25, in test mode. Potanin’s mining and smelting firm Nornickel will be the first to issue tokens on the platform, which is designed to speed up transactions, enable surplus supply trading and cut back on the red tape needed for interactions between customers and businesses. Atomyze is based on IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric.
    – The billionaire investor Warren Buffett has reiterated his aversion to cryptocurrencies. “Cryptocurrencies basically have no value and they don’t produce anything,” Buffett told CNBC in an interview on Monday. “I don’t have any cryptocurrency and I never will,” Buffett added. Last month, Tron founder Justin Sun, along with his four guests, dined with Buffett – but that didn’t change the billionaire investor’s stance on crypto.
    – On the other hand, Tim Draper now holds “a lot” of his portfolio in Bitcoin after pulling his wealth out of public stock markets six months ago. Speaking to CNBC on Feb. 24, the VC investor and serial Bitcoin proponent revealed that he had significantly added to his crypto holdings since last year. “It’s a lot, it’s a lot, a lot,” he responded when quizzed about exactly how far his faith in Bitcoin extended.
    – Congress is set to host its latest hearing on digital currencies late next month. The U.S. House Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy will host a hearing on “A Review of Domestic and International Approaches to Digital Currencies” on March 24 at 2 p.m. ET.
    – Blocknative, a startup tracking Ethereum mempool, conducted research that counts all transactions across 24 crypto networks. The 24 blockchains together have powered over 3.1 billion transactions from 2009 to 2019.

    Other Specialties
    Fintech: The digital bank Revolut has become the UK’s most valuable financial technology startup after a funding round that more than tripled its value to £4.2bn. The valuation puts it ahead of rival digital bank Monzo, which was valued at £2bn last year, and that of small business lender OakNorth, which previously held the top spot at £2.2bn. It comes after Revolut, which is headquartered in London, announced it had raised $500m (£387m) from a group of investors led by the US fund Technology Crossover Ventures, ending months of speculation around the deal. TCV was an early backer of companies including Airbnb, Netflix and Spotify. The cash injection means Revolut is now worth more than triple its previous valuation of £1.3bn in spring 2018, and marks a speedy rise for the company launched in 2015 with a pre-paid card product focused on offering free currency exchange to customers.
    Healthtech: Celcom, the oldest mobile telecommunication provider in Malaysia, has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with DoctorOnCall, a digital healthcare platform by Health Digital Technologies Sdn. Bhd. The platform currently has about a million active users in Malaysia.
    AI: Chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov, who lost to IBM’s Deep Blue computer in 1997, predicts that AI will ‘destroy’ most jobs in the US. Kasparov gave an interview with WIRED’s Will Knight last week at an AI summit in New York. “For several decades we have been training people to act like computers, and now we are complaining that these jobs are in danger,” Kasparov said. “Of course they are.”
    Smart cities: Liverpool invests £3.4 million in eco-friendly refuse vehicles – it will be the UK’s biggest eco-refuse fleet. the 20 strong fleet will help to radically cut Liverpool City Council’s carbon footprint. Producing 80 per cent fewer carbon emissions and 90 per cent less Nitrogen Oxide than the previous diesel vehicles, each new wagon will cover more than 150,000 miles a year. The new CNG vehicles are part of a drive to improve the collection and recycling of household waste across the city to help reach a target of recycling more than 55 percent of waste.

    NexChangeNOW Pick of the Day
    Jim Parsons Explains Crypto on The Simpsons