NexChangeNOW Daily Briefing – Wednesday May 13, 2020

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    What Moved Global Markets
    Coronavirus update:
    – Global cases: More than 4.24 million
    – Global deaths: At least 290,000

    1. The World Health Organization said on Tuesday that some treatments appear to be limiting the severity or length of the COVID-19 disease and that it was focusing on learning more about four or five of the most promising ones. The treatments were not named specifically.
    2. China’s health authority said that the reappearance of local clusters of coronavirus cases in recent days suggests that counter-epidemic measures cannot be relaxed yet.
    3. The United Kingdom’s COVID-19 death toll topped 38,000 as of early May, by far the worst yet reported in Europe, raising questions about Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.
    4. Russia reported 10,899 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours, bringing the nationwide total past that of Britain to 232,243, the third-highest total worldwide.
    5. The US just reported a record $738 billion budget deficit in April. The Treasury Department said the budget deficit in April was the first to reflect the enormity of government spending that has been authorized to try to mitigate the economic impact of the crisis. The previous record budget deficit for any month was $235 billion in February 2020. U.S. consumer prices also dropped by the most since April, weighed down by a plunge in demand for gasoline and services including airline travel. 
    6. The S&P 500 closed lower after a choppy session on Tuesday.

    Crypto Prices (from CoinMarketCap)
    Bitcoin: Up 2.76% to $8,919.74
    Total trading volume (24h): $42.29+ billion USD

    Ethereum: Up 1.52% to $190.90
    Total trading volume (24h): $15.21+ billion USD

    3 biggest movers 24 hours
    Biggest Mover 1: Sparkle (SPRKL) is up 121.94% to $0.225742
    Biggest Mover 2: The Midas Touch Gold (TMTG) is up 76.08% to $0.028852
    Biggest Loser: NOIZ (NOIZ) is down 64.87% to $0.030065

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

    1. Bitcoin halving turned out to be non-relevant for the cryptocurrency price. In fact, Bitcoin’s price volatility has declined. Since last night, prices have been restricted largely to a narrow range of $9,500 to $9,820.
    2. Telegram’s TON is officially DONE. Telegram founder Pavel Durov wrote in his public channel Tuesday that the project would be discontinued due to the company’s ongoing legal fight with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
    3. “Today is a sad day for us here at Telegram. We are announcing the discontinuation of our blockchain project. Below is a summary of what it was and why we had to abandon it,” he wrote. An accompanying blog post said the SEC’s winning of a preliminary injunction in a U.S. court led to the decision because it barred Telegram from launching TON or distributing its gram tokens.  Telegram announced at the end of April its investors could receive 72% of their funds back immediately, or 110% back in a year, once TON had launched. U.S. investors would not be able to take the latter option, Telegram said in a later update. In Tuesday’s post, Durov did not say whether all investors would be immediately refunded or how much they’d receive.

    Other Specialties
    Fintech: Brazilian digital wallet PicPay hit 20 million clients in early May, reaching a goal previously expected for December as social isolation measures to combat the coronavirus accelerates the search for digital financial services. With thousands of stores closed in the country since March, the pace of new payment account openings was multiplied by six.

    Healthtech, Smart Cities: A new drone service will reduce delivery times for urgent medical supplies to a hospital on the Isle of Wight, which lies about 8 kilometres off the south coast of England. The drone has a range of 1000 kilometres (620 miles) and can carry a payload of up to 100 kilos in a hold around the size of an estate car boot. The first delivery was a consignment of pathology sample cases. The trial is part of a government project to develop a transport system that allows manned and unmanned aircraft to operate safely in the same airspace. Practically, any remote or island community, reliant on slow boat travel or expensive manned aircraft for supplies, could benefit from this technology.

    AI: Twitter has appointed Stanford professor and former Google vice president Fei-Fei Li to its board as an independent director. Fei-Fei Li was chief of AI at Google Cloud up until October 2018 when she left as a result of leaked emails relating to the controversial Project Maven project. Li is widely respected in the AI industry and Twitter will no doubt hope that she can attract some talented researchers to the company. Twitter uses AI algorithms to rank what users see in their feeds, but there is potential to do much more with the technology.

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