NexChangeNOW Daily Briefing – Wednesday April 01, 2020

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    What Moved Global Markets
    Coronavirus update:
    – Global cases cross 826,200
    – Global deaths: At least 40,700
    – US cases: At least 175,000

    1. New York just became the coronavirus epicentre of the world as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the state surpassed China’s Hubei province, where the outbreak originated about three months ago.
    2. French health authorities reported 499 new deaths from coronavirus, taking the total to 3,523, an increase of 17% in the past 24 hours. It was the third consecutive day that the rate of deaths accelerated in France, which is now in its third week of lockdown.
    3. While Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs is offering employees 10 days of paid family leave, warehouse workers on Staten Island in New York walked off the job yesterday in protest of Amazon’s treatment amid the crisis. Meanwhile, workers at Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon, are organizing a “sick out” strike to demand better protections on the job, Vice reports.
    4. Stocks fell Tuesday morning, the last day of the first quarter. Oil prices are on track for their worst ever quarter. With the worldwide economic turbulence wrought by the coronavirus crisis and nationally enforced lockdowns across major markets, global growth is set to be pushed toward zero, analysis from S&P Global Ratings predicts. Investors grew increasingly concerned about the U.S. economy and the stock market as March wore on, but they also said they aren’t ready to abandon their stocks, according to several surveys.
    5. The vast majority of the institutional clients surveyed by Citi expect an economic downturn and earnings estimates to be cut further in 2020, but they are more bullish on equities. About 70% of institutional clients think that a 20% climb for stocks is more likely than another 20% tumble.
    6. Coronavirus COVID-19 has kept us indoors and, as a result, there’s been a surge in sales of computer accessories like keyboards, mice, monitors and laptops. Business conferencing apps have been experiencing record growth and just hit their biggest week ever in March, topping 62 million downloads during the week of March 14-21.

    Crypto Prices (from CoinMarketCap)
    Bitcoin: Down 2.29% to $6,326.80
    Total trading volume (24h): $32.19+ billion USD

    Ethereum: Down 0.91% to $132.24
    Total trading volume (24h): $11.03+ billion USD

    3 biggest movers 24 hours
    Biggest Mover 1: Custody Token (CUST) is up 203.60% to $0.005103
    Biggest Mover 2: Enzo (NZO) is up 118.68% to $0.020263
    Biggest Loser: Dentacoin (DCN) is down 57.75% to $0.000009

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

    1. While bitcoin (BTC) has climbed sharply from recent lows below $4,000, it’s still on track to end March with a double-digit price loss. The top cryptocurrency by market value is currently trading near $6,440, representing nearly a 68 percent rise from the low of $3,867 registered on March 13. Even so, prices are still down 24 percent on a month-to-date basis.
    2. CoinSpot, one of Australia’s top cryptocurrency exchanges by trading volume, says its security systems have been given the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) stamp of approval. The news marks the platform as the first cryptocurrency exchange in Australia to receive an ISO information security accreditation. CoinSpot now has a user base topping one million, according to its own figures.
    3. Binance is launching a new crypto-to-crypto exchange in South Korea. The new exchange, Binance KR, would open for registration and deposits on April 2. Bitcoin and ether would be supported for trading at launch. Binance is also in the final stages of talks to acquire CoinMarketCap, according to The Block. The crypto exchange is looking to pay as much as $400 million for the deal.

    Other Specialties
    Fintech: Airstar Bank Limited, a licensed virtual bank in Hong Kong, has announced the launch of a pilot trial. The pilot is being conducted under the watchful eye of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s Fintech Supervisory Sandbox. Airstar is a joint venture between Xiaomi Corporation (1810.HK) – the world’s fourth-largest smartphone brand, and AMTD Group (NYSE: HKIB), Asia’s largest independent corporate finance and advisory house. Airstar was granted a banking license by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority on May 9, 2019. Airstar is one of a handful of Fintechs that has been approved to operate a virtual bank. The pilot is a precursor to a full launch of its banking services to the general public. The pilot will onboard approximately 2000 customers that are largely friends and family of Airstar, Xiaomi and AMTD Group. The trial will enable the bank to receive feedback and streamline services.

    Healthtech: Singapore-based healthtech company Doctor Anywhere said it has raised US$27 million in its series B. Founded in 2016, Doctor Anywhere operates a digital platform that gives its users access to a network of established healthcare providers and doctors. The startup also ventured into e-Commerce last year with DA Marketplace, specializing in healthcare products and services. It plans to use the fresh investment to further its presence in Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

    AI: A very interesting TNW article about how AI and deep learning algorithms can really detect coronavirus and lung problems and increase accuracy in detecting pneumonia, or is it just speculation, or even someone’s attempt to profit from a pandemic.

    Smart cities: Spanish utility Iberdrola is heading a consortium aiming to develop a large-scale floating offshore wind turbine in the North Sea, as the sector looks to drive up the size of technology and push down costs. The firm said the turbine would be in excess of 10 megawatts (MW) and tested at the Marine Energy Test Centre in Norway. The average size of offshore turbines installed in 2019 was 7.8 MW, according to trade body WindEurope. The international consortium, made up of firms from Spain, Germany, France, Norway and Denmark, aims to reduce the cost of floating offshore wind energy production. Iberdrola said it hoped to lower the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for floating offshore wind to between 40 and 60 ($44 and $66) euros per megawatt-hour (MWh).

    NexChangeNOW Pick of the Day
    China’s Oldest Crypto Exchange Has Sets It Sights on Japan