NexChangeNOW Daily Briefing – Friday May 08, 2020

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What Moved Global Markets
Coronavirus update:
– Global cases: More than 3.8 million
– Global deaths: At least 268,000

  1. Brazil, one of the world’s emerging coronavirus hot spots, registered a record number of cases and deaths.
  2. Most New Zealand businesses will reopen if restrictions eased next week.
  3. Luxury department store chain Neiman Marcus files for bankruptcy.
  4. The S&P 500 and the Dow fell after President Donald Trump cast doubt on a trade deal with China and data showed U.S. private employers laid off 20 million workers in April, underscoring the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak. The Nasdaq Composite rose for a fourth straight day on Thursday.
  5. Uber just reported first-quarter results. The company’s shares initially dipped after hours, but then shot up more than 8%. The net loss of $2.9 billion, total, included $2.1 billion in impairment charges from companies in which Uber has a stake,  but represented Uber’s biggest loss in three quarters.
  6. Shares of Zoom were up 5% at $157, after rising earlier as much as 8%. The company said it had bought Keybase, a secure messaging and file-sharing service, for an undisclosed price as it seeks engineering expertise to deliver more robust encryption for its conferencing platform.

Crypto Prices (from CoinMarketCap)
Bitcoin: Up 7.96% to $9,932.26
Total trading volume (24h): $62.01+ billion USD

Ethereum: Up 4.91% to $214.18
Total trading volume (24h): $23.48+ billion USD

3 biggest movers 24 hours
Biggest Mover 1: IZEROIUM (IZER) is up 233.17% to $0.086577
Biggest Mover 2: ExtStock Token (XT) is up 175.80% to $0.083911
Biggest Loser: Metaprediction (METP) is down 98.93% to $0.000103

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

  1. Open interest in CME Group’s bitcoin futures has touched an all-time high of $400 million, hinting that more money is flowing in the market and that traders are expecting a near-term rise in volatility. The $400 million figure is higher than the previous all-time high open interest of over $338 million on February 14. 
  2. TON Labs, a startup that helped Telegram run the test network for the Telegram Open Network (TON), launched its own version of the blockchain Thursday, with the support of professional validators. Called Free TON, the fork comes after the group decided not to wait until Telegram is able to clear the regulatory hurdles it faces before it can officially send TON live.
  3. The initiative is supported by 13 validators and used code maintained by TON Labs. During a Zoom call live-streamed on YouTube, the genesis block of the new blockchain was generated, effectively marking its existence. To distinguish itself from the original TON project, this forked version is named Free TON, and its tokens are called “ton crystals,” not “grams.”

Other Specialties
Fintech: Visa announced its continued support of the global Fintech community, having grown the Fast Track program to over 140 Fintechs. Since expanding globally in mid-2019, the Fast Track program has grown 280%, highlighting the surge in demand for digital payments worldwide. Fats track provides turnkey access to Visa’s ecosystem partners, online licensing, APIs, as well as extensive go-to-market toolkits, online education and expert advice to help Fintechs scale their business.
Smart cities: Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs cancelled its Toronto “smart city” project, citing “unprecedented economic uncertainty” in a setback for the city’s long-planned waterfront revitalization. Sidewalk Labs had developed a proposal for a futuristic, data-driven city development along Toronto’s downtown lakeshore. It was working with a government-mandated agency, Waterfront Toronto, that planned to vote on whether to approve the final proposal in June. The project had long faced opposition over issues including data privacy concerns.
AI, Healthtech: France is integrating new AI tools into security cameras in the Paris metro system to check whether passengers are wearing face masks. The software, which has already been deployed elsewhere in the country, began a three-month trial in the central Chatelet-Les Halles station of Paris this week, reports Bloomberg. French startup DatakaLab, which created the program, says the goal is not to identify or punish individuals who don’t wear masks, but to generate anonymous statistical data that will help authorities anticipate future outbreaks of COVID-19.

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Korean Fintech Giant Seeks to Raise $200 Million