NexChangeNOW Daily Briefing – Monday March 30, 2020

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What Moved Global Markets
Coronavirus update:
– Global cases cross 669,000
– Global deaths: At least 30,980

  1. Confirmed cases of COVID-19 has surpassed 660,000 globally. Top 5 countries: United States (124,686), Italy (92,472), China (82,061), Spain (73,235) and Germany (58,247)
  2. Spain recorded 838 deaths overnight from the coronavirus, its highest daily increase in fatalities, bringing the country’s death toll to 6,528 on Sunday.
  3. Iran’s death toll from the coronavirus hit 2,460 on Sunday. Switzerland’s coronavirus death toll rose to 257 on Sunday from 235 the day prior, and its infection count rose overnight to 14,336. Malaysia added 150 new cases.
  4. China’s National Health Commission reported 45 new cases of the coronavirus disease in the mainland, with all but one involving travellers from overseas.
  5. Mexico’s deputy health minister, Hugo Lopez-Gatell, has urged all residents to stay at home for a month to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. 
  6. President Donald Trump said he will not seek to impose a quarantine on New York, New Jersey and certain parts of Connecticut, after floating the idea earlier in the day as a way to contain the coronavirus from spreading out of hot spots where the disease has taken a particularly heavy toll. 
  7. Saudi Arabia’s central bank on Sunday said that banks around the kingdom should waive extra fees for financial restructuring to alleviate some of the pressures facing customers hit hard by the coronavirus crisis.
  8. While South Africa has considered approaching the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other institutions as a last resort for emergency funding to fight the coronavirus that has brought a national lockdown, the finance minister said on Sunday.
  9. Alphabet Inc will donate more than $800 million in funds towards producing medical supplies used to fight COVID-19, and in ad credits to government and health organizations and businesses.

Crypto Prices (from CoinMarketCap)
Bitcoin: Down 3.75% to $5,987.58
Total trading volume (24h): $29.51+ billion USD

Ethereum: Down 2.69% to $126.51
Total trading volume (24h): $10.09+ billion USD

3 biggest movers 24 hours
Biggest Mover 1: Electronic Energy Coin (E2C) is up 234.34% to $0.036592
Biggest Mover 2: Clipper Coin (CCC) is up 36.20% to $0.002412
Biggest Loser: Gleec (GLEEC) is down 71.22% to $1.79 

What Moved Crypto Markets (i.e. digital assets)

  1. Stablecoins have seen significant growth in transaction volumes since the beginning of 2020.
  2. According to research by The Block, in Q1 2020, the transaction volume for stablecoins increased by 8% from the previous quarter and surpassed $90 billion for the first time ever. As a point of reference, the total transactional volume for stablecoins was $250 billion last year, while that for PayPal was $712 billion. Notably, this growth came from not only trading activities but also on-chain value flow from one address to another.
  3. HSBC has put $10 billion of paper-based private placement records on R3’s Corda blockchain and plans to ramp up the project through this year and next. The company had previously announced it would have $20 billion on the platform by this month. The bank is using blockchain as opposed to a traditional database because it plans to tokenize the private placements after it digitizes them.
  4. Bitwise has begun the process of getting its crypto index fund listed on OTC Markets (OTCQX) to let retail investors access the fund in their brokerage accounts. Bitwise continues to work on its bitcoin ETF product and plans to refile the proposal in the future.
  5. Proof-of-stake cryptocurrency platform Algorand has created a global survey intended to compile an open database on the spread, status, and symptoms of the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 27, the company tweeted that its ‘IReportCovid’ survey app will contribute to a global data repository that updates in real-time to inform about pandemic relief efforts.

Other Specialties
Fintech: UK fintech community comes together and launches a challenge to create COVID credit platform, where, using Open Banking, one can go through a simple process that allows non-salaried workers and sole traders to generate a proof statement which details their past income and the impact of COVID-19.
Healthtech: Microsoft has patented a cryptocurrency mining system that leverages human activities, including brain waves and body heat, when performing online tasks such as using search engines, chatbots, and reading ads. A brain wave or body heat emitted from the user when the user performs the task provided by an information or service provider, such as viewing advertisement or using certain internet services, can be used in the mining process. For example, instead of massive computation work required by some conventional cryptocurrency systems, data generated based on the body activity of the user can be a proof-of-work, and therefore, a user can solve the computationally difficult problem unconsciously.
AI: It’s all about AI companies that are helping to combat the COVID-19, including free AI tools and drug discovery.
Smart cities: Dubai government is using drones in conducting the procedures, which enhance the speed and efficiency of the sterilisation operations. 129 Municipality sites, buildings and 23 public areas are already disinfected.

NexChangeNOW Pick of the Day
Binance Unveils Crypto Debit Card