NexChangeNOW Daily Briefing – Friday May 15, 2020

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What Moved Global Markets
Coronavirus update:
– Global cases: More than 4.4 million
– Global deaths: At least 302,000

  1. A vaccine for the coronavirus could be approved in about a year’s time in an “optimistic” scenario, the European Medicines Agency said.
  2. Japan has begun treating severely ill COVID-19 patients with Gilead Sciences Inc’s COVID-19 remdesivir drug, a health ministry official said, just days after giving the drug emergency approval as it seeks to curb the coronavirus outbreak.
  3. The S&P edged higher on Thursday, The Dow joined the S&P in the black, while tech shares held the Nasdaq in negative territory. Investors weighed the prospect of additional stimulus and states reopening for business against remarks from President Donald Trump about the U.S.-China trade negotiations. Comments by Trump late Wednesday blamed China for the coronavirus outbreak and revived trade war fears, even as mandated lockdowns continue to damage the economy.
  4. A whistleblower who says he was removed from his government post for raising concerns about coronavirus preparedness told a congressional hearing in the US on Thursday that the United States could face “the darkest winter” of recent times if it does not improve its response to the pandemic.
  5. France on Thursday announced measures worth 18 billion euros ($19 billion) to support its tourism sector, which has been hammered by the coronavirus crisis and resulting shutdown in beaches, leisure attractions and hotels.

Crypto Prices (from CoinMarketCap)
Bitcoin: Up 2.60% to $9,544.67
Total trading volume (24h): $58.76+ billion USD

Ethereum: Up 0.70% to $199.76
Total trading volume (24h): $20.15+ billion USD

3 biggest movers 24 hours
Biggest Mover 1: MalwareChain (MALW) is up 154.67% to $0.522026
Biggest Mover 2: UNICORN Token (UNI) is up 141.42% to $0.000749
Biggest Loser: HOMIHELP (HOMI) is down 62.03% to $1.05

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

  1. Bitcoin’s correlation to stock index S&P 500 has declined significantly, hinting that the two asset classes no longer move in the same direction. The correlation between bitcoin and S&P 500, measured via BTC/USD on Coinbase and S&P 500 futures, has touched a two-month low. The current correlation between the two asset classes is 0.15, which means it is nearly negligible. About a month ago, on April 16, the correlation was moderately positive at 0.53.
  2. The People’s Bank of China proposed a blockchain trade financing information platform for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. An official document was issued, proposing the development of a blockchain-based trade finance platform. Contributors included the People’s Bank of China, the China Banking Regulatory Commission, China Securities Regulatory Commission, and the Foreign Exchange Bureau. In the document, the four organizations submitted their opinions on how best to finance the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, with an emphasis on global trade and finance. The platform, they stated, would help participating banks securely share information pertaining to cross-border traders through a reliable source.

Other Specialties
Fintech: Mastercard and technology solutions firm Enel X are teaming up after winning a competitive bid to develop a FinTech and cybersecurity innovation lab in partnership with the government of Israel and the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA). The new lab in Be’er Sheva, Israel will work with startups to develop FinTech and cybersecurity solutions for payments and energy networks worldwide. It will focus on cybersecurity, FinTech, financial inclusion and authentication.

Healthtech: Technologists and health officials around the world are racing to develop smartphone apps to trace who has been in contact with carriers of the novel coronavirus. For example, Singapore’s TraceTogether, launched in March, was the first Bluetooth-based contact-tracing app. When a person tests positive for COVID-19, health authorities can look at the person’s Bluetooth history and, in Singapore’s case, call all the people on that list and order them to quarantine. Countries that have launched similar Bluetooth apps include Australia, Malaysia and the United Kingdom. Many European countries including Germany and Italy have agreed to go with, or shown interest, in the Google-Apple approach, with a Swiss-led consortium, DP-3T, leading the way.  However, it remains unknown whether Bluetooth-based contact-tracing apps will be effective. The early apps still only have limited adoption and are hampered by their lack of Apple-Google technology.

Smart Cities: SmartCitiesDive conducted a poll, according to which 40% of respondents would most like to see car-free streets survive beyond the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Cities including Oakland, CA, Minneapolis and Washington, DC are all now testing car-free roadways, while New York City has revisited the idea on seven miles of asphalt after an unsuccessful pilot of the concept.

AI: AI creates a new dictionary – words that don’t actually exist, but really look like existing ones. a one-shot webpage that uses AI to generate an endless stream of plausible babble. It was created by San Francisco-based developer Thomas Dimson (a former principal engineer at Instagram who designed the app’s recommendation algorithms), and it uses the AI language framework known as GPT-2, which was made by AI lab OpenAI and unveiled last February.

NexChangeNOW Pick of the Day
Pavel Durov: TON Blockchain is ‘Over’