NexChangeNOW Daily Briefing – Monday May 04, 2020

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What Moved Global Markets
Coronavirus update:
– Global cases: More than 3.4 million
– Global deaths: At least 243,800

  1. U.S. coronavirus cases topped 1.1 million. The country saw 2,909 people die of COVID-19 in 24 hours, that’s the highest daily death toll in the U.S. yet. The number of coronavirus deaths slows in Italy. 
  2. Vietnam reported its first confirmed coronavirus case in nine days on Sunday, bringing its reported positive cases to 271, its health ministry said. Vietnam is said to have implemented strict quarantine and contact tracing measures early on in the course of the pandemic.
  3. In France, state-supported “StopCOVID” contact-tracing app should enter its testing phase in the week of May 11 when the country starts to unwind its lockdown, a government minister said on Sunday.
  4. U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday threatened new tariffs on China over the coronavirus pandemic.
  5. Markets in Germany, France, Italy and other major European economies are closed for Labour Day.
  6. European stocks finished out their strongest month since October 2015 on Thursday.
  7. Stock futures fell on Sunday night as traders weighed the reopening of the economy along with brewing tensions between China and the U.S.
  8. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down by 331 points, or 1.4%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also traded more than 1% lower.

Crypto Prices (from CoinMarketCap)
Bitcoin: Down 3.93% to $8,781.73
Total trading volume (24h): $46.41+ billion USD

Ethereum: Down 5.96% to $205.37
Total trading volume (24h): $20.27+ billion USD

3 biggest movers 24 hours
Biggest Mover 1: BitBall (BTB) is up 198.12% to $0.003710
Biggest Mover 2: Bitcloud Pro (BPRO) is up 89.45% to $0.003054
Biggest Loser: Hellenic Coin (HNC) is down 34.69% to $0.056286

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

  1. After missing another deadline for delivering its cryptocurrency TON network on April 30th, messaging platform Telegram postponed the launch for another year, pushing it to April 2021. However, Telegram team issued a letter to investors, who helped the company raise almost $2 billion during the ICO back in 2018. Investors were offered an option of an immediate 72% refund, or, if they agree to “loan” their existing stake to the company for one more year, to make amends of 110%.
  2. DeFi platform Compound now supports USDT lending and borrowing: This is the first proposal processed via Compound’s governance poll system since it went live earlier this month.
  3. Ripple has reported its lowest ever XRP sales in Q1 of 2020. The firm’s XRP sales declined by 87% in the quarter as compared to Q4 2019. The sharp decline is the result of a continued pause in XRP sales to crypto exchanges.

Other Specialties
Fintech: Google is reportedly testing its own Google-branded smart debit card that will help customers make and track purchases made online and in stores, according to a report from TechCrunch. The project is meant to be a new centrepiece for Google’s existing Google Pay system, which currently only does online and peer-to-peer payments by adding a physical debit card that could be used for a wider variety of purchases. An expanded debit card presence would allow Google to be more useful in keeping track of payments and purchases, as well as provide the company with valuable insight into consumer spending.
Healthtech: U.S. cloud services company Vonage is partnering with social enterprise CTI Africa to pioneer video-linked healthcare in Uganda, where good hospitals and qualified medical personnel are scarce.
Smart cities: Intel Corp is in advanced talks to acquire Israeli public transit app developer Moovit for $1 billion. Moovit has raised $133 million from investors including Intel, BMW iVentures and Sequoia Capital. Moovit’s free mobile navigation app provides transit information to more than 750 million users in 100 countries. Last month it launched an emergency mobilization service, which was created for transit agencies and enterprises during the COVID-19 pandemic. The technology transforms vehicle fleets into an on-demand service to get essential employees safely to work and has been implemented in a number of cities by large corporations.
AI: This week, research laboratory OpenAI unveiled Jukebox, a neural network that generates songs complete with lyrics and singing. OpenAI trained Jukebox by feeding it 1.2 million songs along with lyrics and metadata. “The metadata includes artist, album genre and year of the songs, along with common moods or playlist keywords associated with each song.” OpenAI shared a selection of song samples worth a listen.

NexChangeNOW Pick of the Day
Telegram misses the deadline, offers investors payback options