NexChangeNOW Daily Briefing – Tuesday April 07, 2020

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What Moved Global Markets
Coronavirus update:
– Global cases: More than 1.3 million
– Global deaths: At least 74,300
– US cases: At least 368,000

  1. According to WHO, research to develop vaccines and treatments to fight the coronavirus has “accelerated at incredible speed.”
  2. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is now in intensive care, after he was diagnosed with COVID-19.
  3. There is growing optimism that euro-zone finance ministers will approve new funding to the countries wrestling with the coronavirus pandemic, but division over so-called “corona bonds” is likely to remain.
  4. Stocks jumped, rebounding from sharp losses in the previous week, as the number of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. appeared to slow down. Each of the major indexes rallied more than 5%. Stocks actually hit session highs minutes before the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 1,700 points higher.
  5. Oil prices fell on Monday amid ongoing uncertainty around the prospect of production cuts. The move lower came even as the CEO of Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF told CNBC that Moscow and Riyadh were “very close” to an oil deal, and as Russia reportedly said it was ready to reduce output, according to Reuters.

Crypto Prices (from CoinMarketCap)
Bitcoin: Up 6.39% to $7,287.84
Total trading volume (24h): $49.51+ billion USD

Ethereum: Up 16.14% to $168.24
Total trading volume (24h): $23.52+ billion USD

3 biggest movers 24 hours
Biggest Mover 1: eosDAC (EOSDAC) is up 308.17% to $0.008496
Biggest Mover 2: Helpico (HELP) is up 184.72% to $0.084596
Biggest Loser: Super Bitcoin (SBTC) is down 57.65% to $0.377167

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

  1. Investors have brought class-action lawsuits in federal court against seven cryptocurrency issuers and four exchanges, claiming they sold billions of dollars in unregistered assets in violation of U.S. securities laws. The defendants include crypto issuers and Tron, and exchanges Binance and BitMEX. The investors said that BitMEX, in addition to selling unregistered securities, also manipulated the cryptocurrency market for its own benefit.
  2. TheBlock reports: major cryptocurrency exchanges appear to remain unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic impact. At least seven exchanges The Block spoke they have seen an uptick in user sign-ups and trading volumes, These include Kraken, Gemini, Bitfinex, OKEx, Bitstamp, Paxful, and KyberSwap.
  3. A group of companies including Consensys and Hyperledger are backing a virtual hackathon focused on solutions for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Announced last Thursday in a Consensys blog post, the hackathon aims to bring together developers and health experts to “build blockchain solutions to help collect, standardize, verify, and optimize data to aid scientists as they seek to better understand COVID-19”. For those looking to compete, the prize money for the STOP COVID-19 Hackathon totals $20,000, including $10,000 for first place, $7,000 for second place and $3,000 for third place. Winning entries will be fast-tracked for additional funding sources through Gitcoin and ConsenSys grants, as well as other funding opportunities within ConsenSys Health.
  4. Crypto exchange Poloniex has rolled out a new token issuance platform called “LaunchBase.” Announced on Sunday, the platform’s first supported project is Tron’s decentralized stablecoin system called “JUST.” JUST was initially named “Djed” when it was announced last week. It is the Tron Foundation’s MakerDAO-like stablecoin system.

Other Specialties
Fintech: The Bank of Korea, the country’s central bank, has launched a pilot program for testing its own CBDC. Announcing the news on Monday, the central bank said the program was launched last month and would run until December 2021. The 22-month program is aimed at identifying technical and legal provisions required to create and issue a digital currency.  On the technical side, it would define central bank digital currency (CBDC) design, an operation method of CBDC, and whether blockchain technology would be feasible to implement.
Healthtech, AI: IBM wants to help researchers better understand and treat COVID-19. To do so, it’s putting its AI to work. It has released a series of new tools to aggregate data, help researchers explore potential therapies, advance the study of newly sequenced SARS-CoV-2 genomes and make the latest info available to healthcare professionals. IBM is also making its Functional Genomics Platform available for free for the duration of the pandemic.
Smart cities: Google Maps is adding another new feature, one that allows users to easily find restaurants nearby that provide takeout and delivery options. Where Google Maps previously let people click to quickly find restaurants and coffee shops, users will now see options for takeout and delivery in the app. The new feature might also help keep restaurants in business, as lockdown restrictions prevent them from serving people inside. And, since Google Maps links users directly to a restaurant, users may be saving themselves, or the restaurant, fees associated with delivery services.

NexChangeNOW Pick of the Day
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