NexChangeNOW Daily Briefing – Tuesday May 05, 2020

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What Moved Global Markets
Coronavirus update:
– Global cases: More than 3.5 million
– Global deaths: At least 250,000

  1. Gilead Sciences CEO Daniel O’Day said Sunday the company would be donating its entire supply of remdesivir to treat coronavirus patients. Roche Chairman Christoph Franz said the drugmaker will invest more than $437 million in a German testing site. Another week of quarterly reports lies ahead.
  2. In Italy, nearly two months after ordering Italians to stay home in an effort to slow one of the worst outbreaks of the new coronavirus in the world, the government on Monday cautiously eased a few restrictions.
  3. In Finland, restaurants will reopen gradually and public services including libraries and sports facilities will start operating again from June 1, the government said on Monday.
  4. In the US, Ohio and other states on Monday planned to ease more restrictions on businesses even as President Donald Trump acknowledged that as many as 100,000 Americans could die in a pandemic.
  5. France might allow religious services to resume before the end of May if a gradual easing of lockdown rules from May 11 did not result in the rate of coronavirus infections increasing.
  6. World leaders and organisations pledged $8 billion to research, manufacture and distribute a possible vaccine and treatments for COVID-19 on Monday, but the United States refused to contribute to the global effort. Governments aim to continue raising funds for several weeks or months, building on efforts by the World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and wealthy individuals.
  7. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones dropped for the third session on Monday following a U.S.-China spat over the origins of the coronavirus outbreak and billionaire Warren Buffett has dumped his stakes in four major US carriers.

Crypto Prices (from CoinMarketCap)
Bitcoin: Up 1.31% to $8,880.46
Total trading volume (24h): $43.46+ billion USD

Ethereum: Up 0.72% to $207.37
Total trading volume (24h): $21.74+ billion USD

3 biggest movers 24 hours
Biggest Mover 1: Freight Trust & Clearing Network (EDI) is up 130.58% to $0.002867
Biggest Mover 2: Hyperion (HYN) is up 96.30% to $0.744490
Biggest Loser: IZEROIUM (IZER) is down 50.56% to $0.067596

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

  1. Last week has been a tremendous week for Bitcoin (BTC), as the price surged from $7,500 to $9,450. However, since the peak high at $9,450, it has not seen a continuation, as the price is consolidating $800 lower. Big gains are reminiscent of similar price rallies seen ahead of the previous two halvings, which took place in 2016 and 2012. 
  2. The NEAR Foundation, which recently launched the main-net for its Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain, has secured $21.6 million in a token sale led by Andreessen Horowitz. NEAR is a public PoS network that focuses on usability and scalability. Similar to Ethereum 2.0, the network makes use of sharding, a method that breaks down the blockchain into different servers or shards.

Other Specialties
Fintech: NatWest is closing its consumer-facing app-based bank, known as Bó. This comes just five months after the launch of Bó. In its latest quarterly financial results, NatWest parent Royal Bank of Scotland said the app-based bank will be integrated into mobile-based business account provider Mettle. “After careful consideration, we have made the decision to wind down Bó, and focus on our digital bank for SMEs,” said NatWest. “The technology that underpins Bó will be integrated as we develop Mettle to better support our SME customers, who play such a crucial role in our economy.”
Healthtech: Apple and Google on Monday said they would ban the use of location tracking in apps that use a new contact tracing system the two are building to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The companies plan to only allow public health authorities to use the technology.
Smart cities: Intel Corp has bought Israeli public transit app maker Moovit for about $900 million to help it develop self-driving “robotaxis” that could take to the streets in early 2022. The price paid was nearly twice the $500 million valuation when Moovit last raised money in 2018.
AI: Researchers affiliated with the University of Washington and Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence say they’ve developed an AI system — VeriSci — that can automatically fact-check scientific claims. Automated fact-checking could help to address the reproducibility crises in scientific literature, in which it’s been found that many studies are difficult (or impossible) to replicate. A 2016 poll of 1,500 scientists reported that 70% of them had tried but failed to reproduce at least one other scientist’s experiment. And in 2009, 2% of scientists admitted to falsifying studies at least once, and 14% admitted to personally knowing someone who did.

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