NexChangeNOW Briefing – Thursday June 04, 2020

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What Moved Global Markets
Coronavirus update:
– Global cases: More than 6.4 million
– Global deaths: At least 383,000

  1. Spain extends its state of emergency until June 21st. Austria is lifting coronavirus-related border restrictions including quarantines for all neighbouring countries except Italy as of Thursday.
  2. Thousands of people joined a demonstration in central Stockholm on Wednesday, as well as in London and Rotterdam, to protest against racism in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
  3. Massive protests flare across the U.S. Minnesota’s attorney general will increase the murder charge against a fired Minneapolis police officer in the death George Floyd and will level charges against three other sacked officers. Meanwhile, members of the Hong Kong Police Force seem to enjoy immunity for controversial actions, and have banned an annual candlelight vigil that commemorates Tiananmen victims.
  4. Investors shed safe-haven assets such as gold and government debt on encouraging economic data from China and hope the worst of the downturn stemming from the coronavirus crisis is over. Gold prices extended losses, The euro rose 0.56% and has gained more than 3% since May 25. The dollar fell to an 11-week low against a basket of currencies but strong equity gains set the tone of investor optimism, as leading bourses in Paris and Frankfurt rose more than 3% and the Dow rose almost 2% as Boeing shares surged.
  5. Stocks rose sharply on Wednesday on the back of better-than-expected economic data, which bolstered optimism over the recovery from coronavirus-led shutdowns.

Crypto Prices (from CoinMarketCap)
Bitcoin: Up 1.87% to $9,688.22
Total trading volume (24h): $25.35+ billion USD

Ethereum: Up 3.20% to $244.03
Total trading volume (24h): $10.09 billion USD

3 biggest movers 24 hours
Biggest Mover 1: Bitscoin (BTCX) is up 221.76% to $6.12
Biggest Mover 2: Pigeoncoin (PGN) is up 191.58% to $0.000715
Biggest Loser: Ink (INK) is down 45.64% to $0.001627

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

  1. The biggest cryptocurrency by market value fell 8% from $10,137 to $9,298 in less than 5 minutes during Tuesday’s U.S. trading hours, dashing hopes for a continued upward move. Crypto miners have sold 920 BTC and generated 844 BTC in the past 24 hours, pushing their inventory down by 76 BTC and keeping the miner’s rolling inventory (MRI) figure above 100%.
  2. China’s chip-making giant SMIC, which recently partnered with bitcoin miner maker Canaan, has filed for $2.8 billion IPO. SMIC’s IPO filing comes amid rising trade tensions between China and the U.S., which have affected the largest chipmaker TSMC – Bitmain’s major chip supplier.  Chinese state investors injected $2.2 billion in TSMC rival SMIC. SMIC is now looking to raise more funds via the IPO to increase its tech and production capabilities.
  3. After a two-year-long dispute over allegedly charging crypto purchases as “Cash Advance” transactions without giving customers legally-required notice, JPMorgan Chase has agreed to settle with plaintiffs for $2.5 million.

Other Specialties
Fintech: Japan’s three biggest banks have set up a study group that will look at possibly building a common settlement infrastructure for digital payments, an initiative backed by the central bank and the country’s financial regulator. The core banks of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc, Mizuho Financial Group Inc, as well as East Japan Railway and several other non-financial firms, will participate in the group. Representatives from the Bank of Japan, the Ministry of Finance and the Financial Services Agency will attend as observers. The study group may pave the way for the megabanks to link their systems to East Japan Railway’s popular Suica smart transit card.

Healthtech: Healthcare technology startup Ezra has secured $18 million in new funding from multiple organizations and individuals to expand its artificial intelligence-based cancer screening exams. The New York-based imaging company will use the new capital to make its MRI screening program more widely accessible to patients, according to a Monday announcement. Ezra says its full-body MRI takes under an hour to complete and screens for cancer in 12 organs. Its AI model for prostate cancer is currently under FDA review.

Smart Cities: Fiat Chrysler is piloting a project in its historic Italian home of Turin to allow its hybrid plug-in cars to automatically switch to electric-only mode when entering congested city centres. The project, named ‘Turin Geofencing Lab’ and involving the city authorities and public transport agency GTT, is based on a prototype system with fully integrated on-board sensors allowing a car to recognize when it is entering a restricted traffic zone, FCA said on Wednesday. The sensors will then automatically turn off the combustion engine and switch to electric mode.

AI: InterDigital, Inc., a mobile and video technology research and development company, today introduced the world’s first cloud-gaming solution with an AI and machine learning-enabled user interface, presented in a collaborative partnership with cloud gaming trailblazer Blacknut and in cooperation with GPU pioneer Nvidia. The collaboration represents the first time that an AI and machine learning-driven user interface is utilized, wearable-free, with a live cloud gaming solution. The technology demonstrates the potential of integrating localized and far-Edge enabled AI capabilities into home gaming experiences.