NexChangeNOW Daily Briefing – Thursday April 09, 2020

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What Moved Global Markets
Coronavirus update:
– Global cases: More than 1.5 million
– Global deaths: At least 88,000

  1. The total death toll in Italy since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 rose to 17,669, the Civil Protection Agency said, the highest in the world. The number of confirmed cases climbed to 139,422, the third-highest global tally behind that of the United States and Spain.
  2. The number of coronavirus cases in New York state alone approached 150,000 on Wednesday, surpassing Spain for the most infections anywhere in the world, even as authorities warned the state’s official death tally may understate the true toll.
  3. Wuhan in China ended its more-than two-month lockdown on Wednesday, even as a small northern city ordered restrictions on residents amid concern about the second wave of infections. China sealed off Wuhan, a central city of 11 million people, on Jan. 23, a drastic step that came to symbolise its aggressive management of the virus.
  4. World Health Organization officials said they’re investigating several cases where pets, and even a Tiger, appear to have gotten infected with the coronavirus by their human caretakers.
  5. The coronavirus pandemic is expected to wipe out 6.7% of working hours globally in the second quarter of 2020, according to a forecast by the International Labor Organization. The United Nations’ labour agency said this would be the equivalent of 195 million full-time workers, with a standard 48-hour working week.
  6. “We are still in the acute phase of a pandemic so now is not the time to cut back on funding,” The WHO has responded to President Donald Trump’s claim that the organization was being “China-centric“, and his threat to cut its funding, saying the move would not be appropriate during the global coronavirus pandemic.

Crypto Prices (from CoinMarketCap)
Bitcoin: Up 1.38% to $7,302.27
Total trading volume (24h): $37.29+ billion USD

Ethereum: Up 2.26% to $171.56
Total trading volume (24h): $16.51+ billion USD

3 biggest movers 24 hours
Biggest Mover 1: STEM CELL COIN (SCC) is up 93.14% to $0.097711
Biggest Mover 2: EDC Blockchain (EDC) is up 77.87% to $0.009420
Biggest Loser: BitBall (BTB) is down 75.25% to $0.001287

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

  1. Bitcoin Cash (BCH), one of bitcoin’s forks and the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, has just undergone its first halving. The event, which occurred at 10:19 am UTC on Wednesday, will see the amount of BCH produced with each new transaction block reduce from 12.5 BCH to 6.25 BCH. As a result, BCH miners can expect to earn lower rewards.
  2. Four crypto entrepreneurs – with a combined net worth of $8.7 billion – have made it to Forbes’ 2020 global billionaires list. On Forbes’ newly-released billionaire list, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos occupies the top spot with a $113 billion net worth, followed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, fashion magnate Bernard Arnault, and American investor Warren Buffett.
  3. Four members of the cryptocurrency industry were also named on the list. Those featured include Bitmain co-founders Micree Zhan and Jihan Wu, Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen, and Coinbase chief executive Brian Armstrong. Their personal wealth is estimated to be $3.3 billion, $1.8 billion, $2.6 billion, and $1 billion, respectively.
  4. There’s been a BIG move towards centralising DeFi – in Chicago. TD Ameritrade, Cumberland, CMT Digital, DV Trading and Jump Trading, as well as venture capital firm Volt Capital and the DeFi startup Compound, launched the Chicago DeFi Alliance (CDA). Announced Wednesday, the new group will focus on providing advisory services to select crypto startups working on decentralized finance initiatives.

Other Specialties
Fintech: To help small business, Mastercard will provide $250mn over five years to companies in the US and other markets in which it operates. The global card payments innovator announced the measures during the virtual America CARES Small Business Relief event, hosted at the White House on 7 April.  Mastercard’s financial commitment will include financial, technology, product and insight assets to support the security and vitality of small businesses and their workers.

Healthtech: In the UK, at a time when support for the NHS is vital to keeping the nation on its feet, health tech company DrDoctor has announced that its complete COVID-19 toolkit is now available, free of license fees to any hospital that requires it. The bespoke toolkit comprises of the recently released Broadcast Messaging and Video Consultation services and, as of today, the new digital Symptom Assessment Tracker.

AI: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a plan to provide up to $30 million for advanced research in machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) for both scientific investigation and the management of complex systems. The initiative encompasses two separate topic areas. One topic is focused on the development of ML and AI for predictive modelling and simulation focused on research across the physical sciences.

A second topic is focused on basic ML and AI research for “decision support” in managing complex systems. Potential eventual applications could include cybersecurity, power grid resilience, and other complex processes where ML and AI can make or aid in making decisions in real-time.

Smart cities: The City of San Francisco is deploying up to 25 Wi-Fi “SuperSpots” to support students with distance learning during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown. The devices will be located in areas of highest need, including public housing sites and single-room occupancy buildings.

Each SuperSpot will provide internet access for 100 users and is powered by the Sprint Network. The equipment, installation and operating costs are fully covered by philanthropic funding from the 1Million Project Foundation and EducationSuperHighway, and the hotspots will remain in place for the remainder of the school year.

NexChangeNOW Pick of the Day
Binance’s Acquisition of CoinMarketCap Prompts Mixed Reactions