NexChangeNOW Daily Briefing – Wednesday April 22, 2020

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    What Moved Global Markets
    Coronavirus update:
    – Global cases: More than 2,564,300
    – Global deaths: At least 177,100

    1. The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday that all available evidence suggests the novel coronavirus originated in animals in China late last year and was not manipulated or produced in a laboratory.
    2. Britain’s health minister said Tuesday that the country will test a potential vaccine for the coronavirus on people later this week.
    3. A vaccine developed by researchers at Oxford University will be tested on people on Thursday, Health Minister Matt Hancock said in a daily news briefing.
    4. Italy is likely to start easing its coronavirus lockdown from May 4, though the long-awaited rollback will be cautious and calculated.
    5. Brent crude futures plunged 25% on Tuesday to the lowest in nearly two decades, a day after panicked traders sent U.S. oil below minus $40 per barrel on fears of a historic glut due to the destruction of fuel demand by the coronavirus pandemic.
    6. Brent LCOc1 futures for June delivery fell $6.52, or 25.5%, to $19.05 a barrel by 12:46 p.m. EDT (1646 GMT), while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc2 for June fell 44.5%, to $9.09.
    7. U.S. stocks fell sharply once again as oil prices continued their unprecedented wipeout.
    8. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 600 points, or more than 2%. Tuesday’s losses brought the Dow’s two-day decline to nearly 1,200 points. The S&P 500 dropped 3% while the Nasdaq Composite fell 3.4%.

    Crypto Prices (from CoinMarketCap)
    Bitcoin: Down 0.13% to $6,888.84
    Total trading volume (24h): $31.83+ billion USD

    Ethereum: Down 0.19% to $172.74
    Total trading volume (24h): $15.75+ billion USD

    3 biggest movers 24 hours
    Biggest Mover 1: Storeum (STO) is up 899.34% to $0.015611
    Biggest Mover 2: Global Digital Content (GDC) is up 88.08% to $0.000723
    Biggest Loser: NOIZ (NOIZ) is down 44.40% to $0.053023

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

    1. Ripple Labs and its CEO Brad Garlinghouse have filed a lawsuit against Youtube. The case seeks damages for Youtube’s failure to stop XRP scammers and impersonators. Ripple and Garlinghouse say the scam – often referred to as “The XRP Giveaway” — has already defrauded victims of “millions of XRP valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars”.
    2. Gnosis, an Open Finance startup that spun out from ConsenSys in 2017, has built a decentralized prediction market platform for COVID-19. The company announced today that it has provided $50,000 to kickstart the non-profit Corona Information Markets, where users can place bets on various COVID-19 related events. Currently, open markets listed on the platform include “what percentage of the global population will be estimated to have contracted COVID-19 by the end of 2020,” or “How many confirmed cases of COVID-19 will there be in the State of New York on June 1st, 2020?” The team is hoping that the Corona Information Markets platform will allow for the uncovering of truth regarding vital questions and enable rapid spread of useful information.
    3. The Dutch Central Bank (DNB) thinks the Eurosystem’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) should be more programmable than bitcoin. Saying on Tuesday that cryptocurrencies offer some technological lessons for the banks they seek to displace, DNB wrote that smart contracts could help “future proof” CBDCs. The 45-page CBDC report is the Netherlands pitch to become a digital currency proving ground for the Eurosystem.

    Other Specialties
    Fintech: Coronavirus bolstered mobile payments globally. And here’s a good example: Dutch financial technology firm Adyen posted total first-quarter revenue of 135.5 million euros ($146.9 million), an increase of 34% from a year earlier. Adyen normally reports half-year and annual numbers, but decided to release an update on its performance at the start of 2020 due to COVID-19. Shares of the firm rose 9% Tuesday, making it the best individual stock performer of the pan-European Stoxx 600 index.

    Healthtech: Google Cloud announced Monday the general availability of a technology tool that will make it easier for health systems and providers to connect data across different sources and share those data with patients. Google is making its Cloud Healthcare API (application programming interface) available to the industry at large. The tool facilitates the exchange of data between healthcare applications and solutions built on Google Cloud and enables a unified view of patient data, according to a blog post.

    The API allows healthcare organizations to ingest and manage key data from a range of inputs and systems—and then better understand those data through the application of analytics and machine learning in real-time, at scale.

    AI: Spending on artificial intelligence technologies in Europe is expected to increase by 33% between 2020 and 2023, according to International Data Corporation. Spending is expected to reach $10 billion in 2020 despite budget reductions due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Automation and social distancing compliance needs in response to COVID-19 will accelerate investments across the public sector. Across 181 European companies, 16% believe automation through AI and other emerging technologies can help them minimize the impact of COVID-19.

    Smart cities: In an effort to reduce people spreading germs by touching parking meters, the city of New York is encouraging all residents and visitors to pay for parking using an app. DOT is asking all New Yorkers to switch to Pay-By-Cell, which will reduce the need for physical cash transactions at 14,000 parking meters.

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