NexChangeNOW Daily Briefing – Wednesday May 06, 2020

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    What Moved Global Markets
    Coronavirus update:
    – Global cases: More than 3.6 million
    – Global deaths: At least 254,000

    1. U.S. deaths from coronavirus surged past 70,000. The United Kingdom has overtaken Italy to report the highest official death toll from the new coronavirus in Europe. 
    2. Coronavirus cases in Asia rose to a quarter of a million, according to a Reuters tally, driven by outbreaks in Singapore, Pakistan and India, even as China, South Korea and Japan significantly slowed the spread of the disease.
    3. Some hard-hit countries, including Italy, as well some U.S. states including California are tentatively easing lockdown orders this week, raising hopes for a recovery in oil demand.
    4. Wall Street’s main indexes rallied on Tuesday: the Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 200 points higher, or 0.8%. The S&P 500 gained 1.1% while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.2%. This happened as healthcare stocks jumped, oil prices surged and a number of countries and U.S. states eased coronavirus-induced restrictions in an attempt to revive their economies. Pfizer (PFE.N) shares rose 3.0% after the drugmaker said it and its German partner had begun delivering doses of an experimental coronavirus vaccine for human testing.
    5. Oil prices surged 20% because of ongoing optimism about rising demand. President Donald Trump weighed in on the jump in prices, writing “Oil prices moving up nicely as demand begins again!” in a tweet on Tuesday morning.

    Crypto Prices (from CoinMarketCap)
    Bitcoin: Up 1.03% to $8,986.31
    Total trading volume (24h): $43.16+ billion USD

    Ethereum: Down 0.85% to $206.16
    Total trading volume (24h): $18.96+ billion USD

    3 biggest movers 24 hours
    Biggest Mover 1: Helpico (HELP) is up 1,661.09% to $0.838506
    Biggest Mover 2: WeShow Token (WET) is up 84.62% to $0.008395
    Biggest Loser: NOIZ (NOIZ) is down 93.63% to $0.043719

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

    1. Bitcoin’s hashrate and mining difficulty have hit near all-time highs ahead of halving. Hashrate has risen to over 116 million TH/s (tera hashes per second) as compared to around 95 million TH/s in late March. The move hints at increased mining activity before per-block reward falls from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC.
    2. After delaying its blockchain project for one more year last week, Telegram is now telling U.S. investors to leave the project immediately by taking 72% refunds. In a new letter to Telegram Open Network (TON) investors on Monday, the company said American investors can’t wait for another year and are not eligible for a 110% loan refund option in April 2021.
    3. A new digital identity association was launched today. Trust over IP (ToIP) Foundation is backed by governments, nonprofits and private-sector firms. Key players include Mastercard, IBM and the Canadian Province of British Columbia. A vast ecosystem of public bodies and private companies, large and small, are working on establishing decentralized digital trust, using an array of technologies. The ToIP Foundation, which will live within the Linux Foundation, is a move to rein together core issues that matter to all of them, as well as creating appropriate technologies.

    Other Specialties
    Fintech: German digital bank N26 has raised an additional $100 million in funding, as it braces for economic uncertainty from the coronavirus pandemic. The investment, backed by existing investors such as Chinese tech giant Tencent and Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, is an extension to the company’s Series D investment round announced early last year. It brings the total raised in that round to $570 million, while the company has now raised $770 million to date. N26 is one of several online-only banks that have flourished in Europe, attracting millions of users despite a lack of any physical branches. 
    Healthtech: Financial Times reports: The Covid-19 lockdown is driving a boom in the use of UK healthcare apps, with communication and administrative tools emerging as winners among general practitioners. According to the Royal College of General Practitioners, in the four weeks leading up to April 12, about 71 per cent of routine consultations were remote, compared to 25 per cent in the same period last year. As a result, apps that mediate virtual consultations via a range of functions from text to video are increasingly in demand.
    Smart cities: California’s attorney general on Tuesday sued Uber and Lyft for classifying its drivers improperly as independent contractors instead of employees, evading workplace protections and withholding worker benefits. Several California cities joined the state in its lawsuit, saying the companies’ misclassification harms workers, law-abiding businesses, taxpayers, and society more broadly. Shares in Uber and Lyft dropped briefly but recovered shortly after the lawsuit was announced.
    AI: At its Think Digital conference, IBM and Red Hat today announced a number of new services that all centre around 5G edge and AI. The most important AI announcement is surely Watson AIOps, though, which is meant to help enterprises detect, diagnose and respond to IT anomalies in order to reduce the effects of incidents and outages for a company. On the telecom side, IBM is launching new tools like the Edge Application Manager, for example, to make it easier to enable AI, analytics and IoT workloads on the edge, powered by IBM’s open-source Open Horizon edge computing project.

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