NexChangeNOW Daily Briefing – Monday April 06, 2020

Listen in:

What Moved Global Markets
Coronavirus update:
– Global cases: More than 1.2 million
– Global deaths: At least 68,900
– US cases: At least 337,200

  1. The number of people killed by the coronavirus in Canada has jumped by just over 20% to 280 in a day. Turkey’s death toll from the coronavirus rose by 73 on Saturday to total 574. In Italy, it rose by 525 to 15,887, the lowest daily death toll in more than two weeks.
  2. The rate of new infections and deaths in Spain slowed again, the country is suffering from one of the world’s worst outbreaks of the pandemic, and began its fourth week under a near-total lockdown.
  3. Ireland Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has re-registered as a medical practitioner and will work one shift a week to help during the coronavirus crisis.
  4. Tensions are still mounting between Saudi Arabia and Russia, as the virtual meeting between OPEC and allies led by Russia, a group known as OPEC+, scheduled for Monday has been allegedly postponed till Thursday.
  5. Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed the crash in prices on Saudi Arabia on Friday. While Russia says it wants constructive talks on the situation in the oil market and sees no alternative to dialogue, Iraq oil minister says that the new oil deal ultimately needs support from key oil producers outside the OPEC+ organisation –  such as the United States, Canada and Norway.

Crypto Prices (from CoinMarketCap)
Bitcoin: Up 0.25% to $6,839.15
Total trading volume (24h): $30.64+ billion USD

Ethereum: Down 0.24% to $144.54
Total trading volume (24h): $11.45+ billion USD

3 biggest movers 24 hours
Biggest Mover 1: Zynecoin (ZYN) is up 112.23% to $3.82
Biggest Mover 2: Eterbase Coin (XBASE) is up 103.54% to $0.001412
Biggest Loser: Dentacoin (DCN) is down 79.37% to $0.000005

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

  1. Anti-crypto narrative in China still strong: The National Internet Finance Association of China (NIFA) said that overseas crypto exchanges fake trading volumes. NIFA has also noted that operating entities of crypto exchanges are “relatively hidden,” which could impact consumers. The watchdog has, therefore, advised citizens to stay away from crypto trading. Also, The People’s Bank of China held a teleconference on April 3 in Beijing, China. One of the main points confirmed during the call involved the institution’s continued and accelerated research and development of a central bank digital currency, or CBDC.
  2. Meanwhile, The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) has issued a report arguing in favour of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and digital payments amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The bulletin published by the BIS, a 600-member international financial institution representing the central banks of 60 countries, urges central banks to consider developing CBDCs in light of concerns regarding the spread of coronavirus through existing payment methods.

Other Specialties
Fintech: OneConnect Financial Technology, which is the fintech arm of China’s largest insurance company, Ping An Insurance, has entered into a joint program with the China Merchants Port Group (CMPort) to build a logistics system based on blockchain for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. The platform will include information from Chinese custom services, port operators, logistics companies, financial institutions and export and import firms in one single system via shared databases on-chain. One of its goals is to offer a more efficient tracking system at a lower cost. Financial services will also be more accessible to trade companies.

Healthtech: Check out a Harvard Business Review report on how hospitals are now using AI to battle COVID-19. For example, Providence St. Joseph Health System in Seattle, which served some of the country’s first COVID-19 patients in early March, built an online screening tool in collaboration with Microsoft. It could rapidly differentiate between those who might really be sick with COVID-19 and those who appear to be suffering from less threatening diseases. In its first week, Providence’s tool served more than 40,000 patients.

AI: One of the godfathers of deep learning and the inventor of convolutional neural networks (CNN), one of the key elements that have spurred a revolution in artificial intelligence in the past decade, presented his vision and the blueprint for “self-supervised learning,” his roadmap to solve deep learning’s data problem. Self-supervised learning is one of several plans to create data-efficient artificial intelligence systems. 

Smart cities: In the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19), a European initiative has been formed to develop smartphone proximity-tracing tools which adhere to European privacy and data protection laws and principles. 

The Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT) coalition, launched earlier this week, has more than 130 members across eight European countries. These include Vodafone and institutes from The Fraunhofer Society, as well as other scientists, technologists and experts from international research institutions and companies.

Contact-tracing apps, which alert users if they have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, could be key to curbing the spread of the virus and potentially relaxing lockdown measures.

NexChangeNOW Pick of the Day
Coronavirus tracking raises privacy concerns