NexChangeNOW Daily Briefing – Friday April 10, 2020

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What Moved Global Markets
Coronavirus update:
– Global cases: More than 1,595,800
– Global deaths: At least 95,800

  1. The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits in the last three weeks has topped 15 million, as weekly new claims topped 6 million for the second straight time last week. The U.S. Federal Reserve rolled out a broad, $2.3 trillion effort to bolster local governments and small and mid-sized businesses in its latest move to keep the U.S. economy intact.
  2. The French government on Thursday more than doubled the expected cost of its coronavirus crisis measures to cope with the worst recession since at least World War Two, pushing the budget deficit and national debt to record levels.
  3. European Union is getting closer to signing a deal on a package to support its coronavirus-battered economies, in particular – Italy. The deal was previously blocked by the Netherlands.
  4. The World Health Organization (WHO) is preparing to launch an appeal soon for more than $1 billion to fund operations against the COVID-19 pandemic through year-end.
  5. Wall Street rose for the third time in four days on Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.82%, the S&P 500 gained 0.92%, and the Nasdaq Composite added 11.85 points, or 0.15%.
  6. Oil markets news: OPEC and its allies held talks on Thursday on record oil output curbs of about 15 million barrels per day (bpd) or more, roughly 15% of global supplies, to support prices hammered by the coronavirus crisis. It is said that the plan included cuts of about 5 million bpd from producers outside the group known as OPEC+ and could be made gradually, as the group seeks to overcome resistance from the United States whose involvement they see as vital to a deal. Talks have been complicated by friction between OPEC leader Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC Russia, two of the world’s biggest oil producers. But sources on both sides said they had overcome differences amid the deepest oil market crisis in decades. Global fuel demand has plunged by as much as 30 million bpd, or 30% of global supplies.

Crypto Prices (from CoinMarketCap)
Bitcoin: Down 0.51% to $7,258.24
Total trading volume (24h): $34.71+ billion USD

Ethereum: Down 1.01% to $169.25
Total trading volume (24h): $14.82+ billion USD

3 biggest movers 24 hours
Biggest Mover 1: Acute Angle Cloud (AAC) is up 905.64% to $0.033730
Biggest Mover 2: PlayCoin [QRC20] (PLY) is up 305.55% to $0.004817
Biggest Loser: Gleec (GLEEC) is down 68.73% to $1.52

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

  1. Following major accusations of insider stock trading during the coronavirus-induced market crash, Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), the former CEO of Bakkt, is liquidating her holdings along with her husband.
  2. In an April 8 tweet, Loeffler said that she and her husband Jeffrey Sprecher, CEO of ICE, which is the company that owns Bitcoin (BTC) options contracts regulator Bakkt, are liquidating their holdings in managed accounts to focus on tackling the coronavirus situation: “I’m doing it because the issue isn’t worth the distraction.” Loeffler came under fire on March 20, with reports claiming that she sold millions in stock within days of a private Senate Health Committee hearing on the novel coronavirus.
  3. Canaan Creative, a Chinese mining manufacturer, saw a net loss of $148.6 million in 2019 on revenue of $204.3 million, reflecting declining profitability over the past three years. Since its $90 million IPO, Canaan’s share price has been on a downward trend and is currently 61 percent below its offering price. Still, the firm’s machines are responsible for securing 20 percent of the Bitcoin blockchain network, opening the question of how Bitcoin’s upcoming “halving” will disrupt the complicated economic dance of crypto mining.

Other Specialties
Fintech: The Fold app — a Lightning-compatible mobile app that has so far been offering users the ability to spend Bitcoin or fiat at major retailers such as Amazon, Uber and Starbucks, requiring them to synchronize their accounts either with an existing credit card or Lightning wallethas joined Visa’s Fintech Fast Track Program. Joining the program will enable the app to launch a new Visa co-branded card, which continues the offer of Bitcoin rewards for purchases made at retailers.

Healthtech: The Healthtech industry is now heavily focused on fighting COVID-19, however, there are still other diseases to find a treatment and proper diagnostic tools for. Finnish health tech startup Neuro Event Labs has raised €3.9 million to support the commercial expansion of their main product, Nelli, an AI-powered diagnostic platform for epilepsy. Nelli relies on video and audio recordings from a patient’s bedside to identify the type of seizure the patient suffers from and then suggest personalized treatment. The system also provides doctors with an cloud-based interactive report that can be reviewed by the entire clinical team.

AI: Google’s automated, artificial intelligence-powered calling service Duplex is now available in more countries, according to a support page updated today. In addition to the US and New Zealand, Duplex is now available in Australia, Canada, and the UK, reports VentureBeat. The Duplex AI assistant can be used to make restaurant bookings and other reservations. Now the phone assistant is contacting businesses across, for example, the UK and asking them what their coronavirus business hours are. It is using the responses to update company listings shown on Google Search and Google Maps. 

Smart cities: Uber plans to ship nearly half a million face masks to U.S. drivers located in the cities hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak. The initial face mask order will come from a Chinese company that typically manufactures electronics and now produces ear-loop masks. But Uber will be sourcing face masks from all over the world as a long-term commitment.

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