NexChangeNOW Briefing – Thursday May 28, 2020

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What Moved Global Markets
Coronavirus update:
– Global cases: More than 5.69 million
– Global deaths: At least 355,000

  1. U.S. CDC reports a total of 1.68 million coronavirus cases, 99,031 deaths. Total number of coronavirus cases in Gulf Arab states surpassed 200,000.
  2. The World Health Organization said Wednesday that it remains unclear whether people who have been infected with the coronavirus are at risk of becoming infected again.
  3. European governments moved on Wednesday to halt the use of anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients, and a second global trial of it was suspended, further blows to hopes for a treatment promoted by U.S. President Donald Trump.
  4. President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Moscow, the epicentre of Russia’s coronavirus outbreak, had succeeded in preventing what he called worst-case scenarios as the city announced it would ease tough lockdown measures within days. 
  5. Boeing said Wednesday it was eliminating more than 12,000 U.S. jobs, including involuntary layoffs of 6,770 U.S. workers.
  6. European stocks closed higher Wednesday, following the unveiling of a huge coronavirus recovery package of 750 billion euro from the EU.
  7. Oil futures dropped more than 4% on Wednesday after the U.S. President Donald Trump said he was working on a strong response to China’s proposed security law in Hong Kong and as some traders doubted Russia’s commitment to deep production cuts.
  8. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman agreed during a telephone call on further “close coordination” on oil output restrictions, the Kremlin said.

Crypto Prices (from CoinMarketCap)
Bitcoin: Up 3.32% to $9,162.09
Total trading volume (24h): $32.92+ billion USD

Ethereum: Up 1.77% to $207.07
Total trading volume (24h): $10.59+ billion USD

3 biggest movers 24 hours
Biggest Mover 1: SoMee.Social (ONG) is up 146.25% to $0.010243
Biggest Mover 2: Volume Network (VOL) is up 126.06% to $0.011477
Biggest Loser: VideoCoin (VID) is down 46.36% to $0.128299

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

  1. After facing a heavy load of transactions earlier this month, bitcoin’s (BTC) network has returned to a more normal level, recent developments suggest.  The total amount of fees paid to miners was 80 BTC as of Tuesday, down from its 11-month high of 201 BTC on May 21. The total number of bitcoins held in cryptocurrency exchanges wallets dropped to an 18-month low just above 2.3 million on Monday, according to data estimates from Glassnode. The decline marks an 11% year-to-date reduction in the number of bitcoins held by exchanges.
  2. Bitfury has announced the launch of an institutional investor program that offers exposure to bitcoin by way of the mining company’s data centres. The program touts “bespoke” investment vehicles, including direct investment and indirect opportunities with funds and private equity, among other modes.
  3. Facebook’s wallet subsidiary is getting a rebrand, according to an announcement from the company. Once Calibra, the wallet built for the Facebook-created stablecoin network Libra will now be called Novi. When it launches, users will be able to access the wallet via a standalone app in addition to Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp integrations.

Other Specialties
Fintech: India’s antitrust body is looking into allegations that Alphabet Inc’s Google is abusing its market position to unfairly promote its mobile payments app in the country, according to a Reuters report. The complaint alleges the U.S. tech giant more prominently showcases its Google Pay app inside its Android app store in India, giving it an unfair advantage over apps of competitors which hurts consumers.
Healthtech: The French government’s contact-tracing app project was approved by the lower house of parliament on Wednesday. It’ll be launched this weekend. This is not the Apple-Google solution, but French know-how, developed by national champions such as Orange and Dassault Systemes. Apple had refused French officials’ request to change the settings to let their app access Bluetooth in the background, so it is always switched on. France, along with Britain, has decided to keep contact data in a central database, arguing this would make it easier for authorities to track suspected coronavirus cases. A COVID-19 test and trace service will start in England on Thursday.
Smart Cities: Smart affordable housing specialist Planet Smart City has announced its fourth smart development project in Brazil. Smart City Aquiraz, which will be built on a 200-hectare site, will be home to more than 18,000 residents. Planet Smart City plans to invest a total of $40m to design and develop the new city.
AI: The Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) announced that it has received U.S. Department of Defense funding to test a city-scale AI system that will enable multiple companies to share the same 5G cellular spectrum — a complex puzzle with pieces that change every millisecond. The new technology will move the AI to a city-scale 5G wireless testbed site in Salt Lake City.