GMEX Group acquires a 30% stake in USAVE, which is set to launch the Monaco Gold Spot Exchange (MGX), which will enable the fair and secure trading of physical eco-responsible gold
USAVE Blockchain (USAVE) today announced an agreement to partner with GMEX Group (GMEX), a provider of innovative exchange, post-trade and digital technology solutions, to build the digital Monaco Gold Spot Exchange (MGX) which will enable the fair and secure trading of physical eco-responsible gold. GMEX will deliver the full GMEX Fusion technology suite to the new exchange as part of its Market Advancement Programme.
As part of the agreement GMEX has also acquired a 30% stake in USAVE.
USAVE provides a disruptive alternative ecosystem for today’s gold production and distribution standards.
It enables an ethically sourced gold supply chain from the miner, with connected hardware recording production, through to tracking and fair payments using Blockchain technology. In turn, this allows visibility and accessibility for a wider market to physically trace gold and enables human transformation for mining communities globally.
On 11 July, USAVE announced an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) to power the development of the platform to raise a hard cap of $130M, with the pre-ICO sale set to go live on 17th September 2018.
Powered by the full GMEX Fusion suite of products, the MGX will be an access point for ethically sourced gold from around the world, in addition to the gold produced through the USAVE ecosystem. This Commodity Exchange will act as the accessible final block in the USAVE value chain.
GMEX Fusion will provide MGX with the ForumMatch multi-asset exchange trading platform supporting both traditional assets and tokenised digital assets, including front-end, matching engine, market data, market surveillance, reporting, ForumCrypto wallet and settlement manager for custody of digital tokenised gold and other assets. The technology will run a high speed private Blockchain and secure cold storage linked to external wallets and a public Blockchain addressing provenance of gold from demand to supply linking physical gold and storage.
The MGX will offer a solution based on the trading of physical gold and will not operate, as some others do, by trading duplicates of international gold derivative contracts. Using the USAVE token as the main means of payment, the MGX will establish a strong physical market, where physical gold is exchanged and stored in the USAVE vault or delivered to the customer’s vault of choice.
MGX will also create digital gold assets that can be transferred between counterparties within the MGX ecosystem and facilitate the transfer of gold, as well as the financing of its production by using it as security to lend against. By trading on MGX, companies can be confident that any physical gold and digital gold assets traded through the spot exchange will meet the highest international standards.
“We are delighted to partner with GMEX to create a fair and secure exchange for ethically sourced gold worldwide. Our mission is to develop a complete and sustainable gold ecosystem and guarantee the origin of all eco-responsible gold as it moves through the entire supply chain. This partnership allows us to offer an efficient and stable means of physical gold exchange within our ecosystem and use technology to combat the risk of today’s volatile cryptocurrency markets,” commented Selim Fendi, Co-Founder and CEO of USAVE.
As part of the agreement, Hirander Misra, Chairman & CEO of GMEX has become a Director of USAVE and commented, “We are very pleased to be working with the USAVE to fully support their ICO and to expand their ecosystem to include a digital gold exchange underpinned by ethically sourced physical gold.” Adding, “As part of our Market Advancement Programme, this project is another example of how we are committed to using the most appropriate business knowledge and technology whether traditional or digitally enabled by blockchain to bring positive change to commodities markets.”
London-based company, GMEX has been recognised at the forefront of UK’s blockchain economy and was recently named as one of the leaders in the implementation of blockchain technology in the All Party Parliamentary Group report on the UK Blockchain industry.
For more information about USAVE and the ICO sale, please visit https://usave.io/.
Climate extremes seen harming unborn babies in Brazil’s Amazon
By Jack Graham
(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A new study that links extreme rains with lower birth weights in Brazil’s Amazon region underscores the long-term health impacts of weather extremes connected to climate change, researchers said on Monday.
Exceptionally heavy rain and floods during pregnancy were linked to lower birth weight and premature births in Brazil’s northern Amazonas state, according to the researchers from Britain’s Lancaster University and the FIOCRUZ health research institute.
They compared nearly 300,000 births over 11 years with local weather data and found babies born after extreme rainfall were more likely to have low birth weights, which is linked to worse educational, health and even income attainment as adults.
Even non-extreme intense rainfall was linked to a 40% higher chance of a child being low birth-weight, according to the study, published on Monday in the Nature Sustainability journal.
Co-author Luke Parry said heavy rains and flooding could cause increases in infectious diseases like malaria, shortages of food and mental health issues in pregnant women, leading to lower birth weights.
“It’s an example of climate injustice, because these mothers and these communities are very, very far from deforestation frontiers in the Amazon,” Parry told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“They’ve contributed very little to climate change but are being hit first and worst,” he added, saying he had been “surprised by just how severe these impacts are”.
Severe flooding on the Amazon river is five times more common than just a few decades ago, according to a 2018 paper in the journal Science Advances.
Last week, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro visited the neighbouring state of Acre in the Brazilian rainforest, which is under a state of emergency after heavy flooding.
Parry said local people had adapted their lifestyles to deal with climate change, but that “the extent of the extreme river levels and rainfalls has basically exceeded people’s adaptive capacities”.
The negative impacts were even worse for adolescent and indigenous mothers.
The study said the “long-term political neglect of provincial Amazonia” and “uneven development in Brazil” needed to be addressed to tackle the “double burden” of climate change and health inequalities.
It said policy interventions should include antenatal health coverage and transport for rural teenagers to finish high school, as well as improved early warning systems for floods.
(Reporting by Jack Graham; Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)
Energy leaders grapple with climate targets at virtual CERAWeek
By Ron Bousso and Jessica Resnick-Ault
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Global energy leaders and other luminaries like incoming Amazon Chief Executive Andy Jassy focused on the tough road to transforming world economies to a lower-carbon future at the kickoff of the world’s largest energy conference on Monday.
Numerous speakers at CERAWeek were prepared to talk about the energy transition and the need for future investment in renewables. But many oil and gas executives were vocal about the need for more fossil-fuel investment in coming years, even as a way of leading the world to a lower-carbon future.
“One of the most urgent things we can do to combat global warming is to back carbon-emitting companies that are committed to get to net zero,” said Bernard Looney, CEO of BP Plc, one of several European oil majors to have committed to ambitious targets of cutting emissions to reach net zero carbon by 2050.
CERAWeek was canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, which stopped billions of people from traveling and wiped out one-fifth of worldwide demand for fuel.
The U.S. fossil fuel industry is still reeling after tens of thousands of jobs were lost. The pandemic has instead accelerated the transition to renewable fuels and electrification of key elements of energy use. Global majors have been playing catch-up, responding to demands from investors to lower production of fuels that contribute to global warming.
The primary message on Monday, however, was that achieving net zero – where polluting emissions are offset by technologies that absorb carbon dioxide for the atmosphere – is going to be difficult.
“There just isn’t yet enough renewable energy to fuel all of the energy that people need. That’s in developed countries,” said Andy Jassy, head of Amazon.com Inc’s cloud division who will succeed Jeff Bezos as CEO this summer.
He said the company had announced its goal for net zero emissions at a time when it had not entirely figured out how to get there.
Since the 2019 conference, many of the world’s major oil companies have set ambitious goals to shift new investments to technologies that will reduce carbon emissions to slow global warming. BP has largely jettisoned its oil exploration team; U.S. auto giant General Motors Co announced plans to stop making gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles in 15 years.
Oil companies have come under increasing pressure from shareholders, governments and activists to show how they are changing their businesses from fossil fuels toward renewables, and to accelerate that transition. However, numerous speakers warned that the viability of certain technologies, such as hydrogen, remains far in the future.
Hydrogen “is a very small business at this point in time, it will scale up, and it will take a long time before it is a business that is large enough to start making a real difference on sort of planetary scale,” said Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden.
Other speakers expected to appear include several representatives from national oil companies along with CEOs of Exxon Mobil, Total, Chevron and Occidental Petroleum, though many are participating in panels focusing on the energy transition.
Mohammed Barkindo, secretary general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, was scheduled to appear, but backed out, citing a conflict.
Some CEOs said more oil and gas investment was necessary.
“We don’t think peak oil is around the corner – we see oil demand growing for the next 10 years,” said John Hess, CEO of Hess Corp. “We’re not investing enough to grow oil and gas in the future,” he said, explaining that prices would need to rise to support that investment.
(Reporting By Ron Bousso, Jessica Resnick-Ault and Marianna Parraga; additional reporting by Valerie Volcovici, Stephanie Kelly, Jeffrey Dastin and Gary McWilliams; writing by David Gaffen; Editing by Marguerita Choy)
AstraZeneca sells stake in vaccine maker Moderna for nearly $1 billion
(Reuters) – AstraZeneca sold its stake in rival COVID-19 vaccine maker Moderna for roughly $1 billion over the course of last year as the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker cashed in on the meteoric rise in the U.S. company’s shares.
London-listed AstraZeneca recorded $1.38 billion in equity portfolio sales last year, with “a large proportion” of it coming from the Moderna sale, according its latest annual report.
Shares in Moderna, which went public in 2018 at $23 per share, surged more than five times last year after it began working on a COVID-19 vaccine based on a new mRNA technology that won U.S. approval in December.
Its shot relies on synthetic genes to send a message to the body’s immune system to build immunity and can be produced at a scale more rapidly than conventional vaccines like AstraZeneca’s.
Last week, Moderna said it was expecting $18.4 billion in sales from the vaccine this year, putting it on track for its first profit since its founding in 2010.
AstraZeneca began investing in Moderna in 2013, paying $240 million upfront and by the end of 2019 had built up its stake to 7.65%.
That would be worth about $3.2 billion based on Moderna’s 2020 closing stock price of $104.47, Reuters calculation showed.
AstraZeneca’s vaccine being developed with Oxford University has not been authorized in the United States and uses a weakened version of a chimpanzee common cold virus to deliver immunity-building proteins to the body.
In December, U.S. drugmaker Merck & Co said it had sold its equity investment in Moderna, but did not disclose the details of the sale proceeds.
Asset manager Baillie Gifford on Monday disclosed in a separate filing it now held 11% passive stake in Moderna as of Feb. 26.
Moderna shares were down 5% at $146.62 in afternoon trading.
(Reporting by Ankur Banerjee, Pushkala Aripaka, Kanishka Singh and Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Jason Neely, David Evans and Arun Koyyur)
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