NexChangeNOW Daily Briefing – Friday March 06, 2020

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What Moved Global Markets
1. Coronavirus update:

  • Global cases: More than 95,700, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • Global deaths: At least 3,280.
  • US cases: At least 159.

2. California declares emergency over coronavirus after the first death in the state. Facebook closed a Seattle office after a contractor tested positive for coronavirus.
3. Stocks plunged immediately after markets opened for trading, following a massive relief rally in the previous session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped about 765 points at the open. The S&P 500 dropped 2.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite traded 2.3% lower. The market moves came amid a roller-coaster week on Wall Street, which saw the 30-stock Dow swinging 1,000 points or higher twice in the past three days.
4. OPEC agreed on Thursday to cut oil output by an extra 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in the second quarter of 2020 to support prices that have been hit by the coronavirus outbreak, but made its action conditional on Russia and others joining in. The oil demand outlook has been pummelled by global measures to halt the spread of the virus, prompting the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to consider its deepest cut since the 2008 financial crisis.

Crypto Prices (from CoinMarketCap)
Bitcoin: Up 0.98% to $8,897.56
Total trading volume (24h): $35.98+ billion USD

Ethereum: Down 0.13% to $226.89
Total trading volume (24h): $16.54+ billion USD

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)
– The Bitcoin network hash rate may have passed 150 quintillion hashes per second (h/s) for the first time ever. Coming just days after its previous record, the hash rate has continued to grow. On Thursday, the metric hit 157 quintillion h/s — its best performance in history. Price reclaims $9K again.
– South Korean lawmakers have passed new legislation that gives the domestic cryptocurrency market clear legal oversight. Cryptocurrency businesses will be required to comply with KYC and AML rules. The legislation is subject to presidential approval and, if signed into law, will go into effect next year.
– Square Crypto, the payments company launched by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, is now officially supporting Bitcoin development through a grant program. This formalizes the already significant contributions made by the company toward the cryptocurrency. Two developers had already received grants: BTCPayServer received $100,000 to continue development of its open-source payment processor, and a pseudonymous developer received an undisclosed sum in connection to Lightning Network development.

Other Specialties
Fintech: A recent study published by Juniper Research claims that by 2024, the number of digital banking customers will surpass 3.6 billion, which would be a significant 54% increase from the current 2.4 billion users in 2020. This considerable growth has been attributed to the steady rise of all-digital banking challengers and the global digital transformation movement, being led by established banks and other financial service providers. Juniper’s latest research paper, titled Digital Banking: Banking-as-a-Service, Open Banking & Digital Transformation 2020-2024, noted that all-digital banks have increasingly been gaining market share from traditional financial institutions by consistently providing quality customer experiences.
Healthtech: Researchers at one of China’s top universities have designed a robot they say could help save lives on the frontline during the coronavirus outbreak. The machine consists of a robotic arm on wheels that can perform ultrasounds, take mouth swabs and listen to sounds made by a patient’s organs, usually done with a stethoscope. Such tasks are normally carried out by doctors in person. But with this robot, which is fitted with cameras, medical personnel do not need to be in the same room as the patient, and could even be in a different city.
AI: AI, captain! The artificial intelligence (AI) captain that will take the helm of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship when it embarks on a historic unmanned voyage across the Atlantic later this year is set to begin its first sea trials this month. The trimaran Mayflower Autonomous Ship is set to become the first full-sized autonomous vessel to cross the Atlantic when it recreates the route of the original Mayflower, which carried the first Pilgrims to the New World, on the 400th anniversary of the 1620 voyage. The AI captain will take the autonomous vessel from Plymouth, UK to Plymouth, Massachusetts in the US on 16 September 2020, in what is expected to be a record-breaking voyage. The project, which is the result of a partnership between IBM and marine research organisation Promare, is also designed to drive advancements in the nascent autonomous shipping market.
Smart cities: Helsinki has launched a global €1 million challenge competition, urging innovators around the world to propose game-changing solutions for the future of urban heating. Finland is committed to becoming carbon-neutral by 2035. Coal is banned from energy production in the country from 2029 and the City of Helsinki has declared that it will not rely on biomass-fired heating.

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