What Moved Global Markets
– Coronavirus hits New York, numbers of US cases rise. In Washington, U.S. lawmakers were close to a deal on a multibillion-dollar emergency bill to help fund efforts to contain the virus in the United States. Japan’s confirmed coronavirus infections rose above 1,000 on Wednesday, most of them from a quarantined cruise liner. That underlined the virus’s spread across the country and raised questions about whether the Olympic Games, due to start in late July, can go ahead. The president of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics said the option of cancelling the Games was not on the table, saying he was “totally not considering this.”
– Lufthansa Airlines has cut its flight capacity equivalent to 150 planes, or grounding almost a fifth of its fleet, it said on Wednesday.
– The faster spread of the coronavirus will wipe out any hope of stronger growth in 2020, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Wednesday, adding that a third of the Fund’s 189 member countries were now affected.
– US Elections: In the space of 24 hours of the Super Tuesday, the Democratic presidential contest suddenly became a two-man race between former Vice President Joe Biden, whose campaign was floundering just a week ago, and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, the party’s liberal champion.
– Biden surged to victory in at least eight of the 14 states where Democrats held primaries. He not only won the states in the American South that he was expected to win, but also Massachusetts, Minnesota and Texas, where he had not been predicted to do as well. And he held his own in California, a liberal stronghold, as overall he amassed hundreds of delegates to the Democratic National Convention in July who will choose the party’s presidential nominee. The slew of victories dramatically underscored that Biden’s campaign, only recently left for dead after setbacks in early primaries, is quickly regaining momentum.
– Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ended his U.S. presidential campaign on Wednesday and endorsed Biden.
– Wall Street surged on Wednesday, with healthcare stocks providing the biggest boost. Why? Because shares of health insurers have suffered for months as self-described socialist Sanders and his “Medicare for All” proposal, which would eliminate private health insurance.
3 biggest movers 24 hours
Biggest Mover 1: ZeuxCoin (ZUC) is up 144.23% to $0.012464
Biggest Mover 2: PlayCoin [QRC20] (PLY) is up 86.88% to $0.005729
Biggest Loser: eosDAC (EOSDAC) is down 49.31% to $0.003639
What moved Crypto Markets (i.e. digital assets)
– ConsenSys and EY announced their working project, Baseline Protocol, joined by 12 other firms and organizations including Microsoft, AMD, ChainLink, and MakerDAO. The new protocol will allow enterprises to access decentralized finance (DeFi) services built on the Ethereum blockchain without having to publicize all their private information.
– HTC is working on a new blockchain router, EXODUS 5G Hub, which will allow users to run a full bitcoin node and relay transactions independent of any third party. The product has added support for email service ProtonMail, open-source Internet browser Brave, decentralized VPN Incognito, and is set launch in Q2.
Fintech: The Supreme Court of India has struck down a circular issued by the Reserve Bank of India, which directed banks not to deal in crypto transactions. In a ruling today, the court held the circular unconstitutional. Crypto exchange players in India are rejoicing the ruling as businesses will now be able to gain banking access.
Healthtech: Nice report about how Chinese technology giants are accelerating their efforts in the field of health-care technology in areas from cloud computing to artificial intelligence (AI) amid the new coronavirus outbreak. Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent, Huawei and DiDi have all launched new health tech features aimed at diagnosing cases and finding a vaccine for the coronavirus. Some of the products include cloud computing-based analysis of medical images to online doctor consultations.
AI: Facebook is opening up about the behind-the-scenes tools it uses to combat fake account creation on its platforms, and the company says it has a new artificial intelligence-powered method known as Deep Entity Classification (DEC) that’s proved especially effective. DEC is a machine learning model that doesn’t just take into account the activity of the suspect account, but it also evaluates all of the surrounding information, including the behaviours of the accounts and pages the suspect account interacts with. Facebook says it’s reduced the estimated volume of spam and scam accounts by 27 percent.
Smart cities: Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has signed an agreement for the development of futuristic ‘sky pods’ built on suspended transport technology for Dubai. The agreement is part of RTA’s efforts to meet the Dubai Self-Driving Transport Strategy, which is targeting 25 per cent of mobility journeys in Dubai to be via autonomous transit by 2030. BeemCar describes its solution as “a cross between a monorail and ski lift”. Each four-seater pod is suspended from a drive unit that sits inside a hollow, lightweight beam. The pods are powered by linear motors, which provide forward propulsion and braking. They travel along at 50 km/hr (30mph) on the beams that criss-cross the city in a network above the traffic.
According to The National, Dubai’s sky pod network will span 15km with 21 stations, providing the capacity to transport 8,400 passengers in one direction per hour.
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