2021 has just started, however, there are already major news pieces in the tech world that were unfolding in the previous week. Let us walk you through some of the most important fintech, biotech, and telecom news that have been the biggest buzz of the tech industry in the January 4 – January 10 week. While the FinTech world has been following the legendary development of Bitcoin over the past month and the enthusiasts supported the theory of cryptocurrency’s sustainable development, the world’s largest crypto has taken a huge plunge over the weekend. In the Biotech world, we look at the vaccine rollouts and explain what vaccine will be distributed in the developing countries and why the US is not likely to approve the AstraZeneca and Oxford vaccines until late Spring. As for the telecom industry, we look at the largely unexpected drama at NYSE that has been going back and forth in its decision to suspend the Chinese state-owned telecom giants. Look at the best tech news of the last week.
Fintech Breaking News: Bitcoin Reaches Legendary Height Followed By Legendary Plunge
In the FinTech world, all eyes have been on the biggest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. Bitcoin has had an amazing performance the past year and following the first wave of Covid-19 and a global lockdown, a lot of fintech experts started viewing bitcoin as a “safe haven” asset in a time of extreme uncertainty, and some even started calling it the “digital gold”.
On December 16th, bitcoin has for the first time passed $20,000, only to top that number by passing $30, 000 at the beginning of the year, $35, 000 early last week, and reached an all-time peak of almost $42, 000 on January 8th.
With the bitcoin price more than quadrupling over the past year, some of the fintech analysts warned that this is a bitcoin bubble and that the development of bitcoin is not sustainable.
While the definitive long-term development is impossible to predict, Bitcoin took the worst two-day plunge since March on Monday, sliding 21% over Sunday as Monday. As of 7:08 AM today in London, Bitcoin held a near-session low with $33,2000, as reported by Yahoo Finance. The rival currencies have also tumbled, with the second-biggest cryptocurrency, Ether, plunged by as much as 21% over the weekend.
As this Fintech news is likely to develop dynamically, we will report on it throughout the week.
To see Bitcoin’s development over the last month, check out:
Biotech News: More Vaccines Approved Around The Globe
On the biotech front, the most important tech news has consistently been the vaccine rollout and the gigantic mass-vaccination programs that are happening around the globe. As more vaccines get approved and successfully pass the Phase 3 trials, hundreds of thousands of citizens are getting their first jab. The priority depends on the country with some countries prioritizing the elderly citizens and the others starting the vaccination program with the essential health workers.
The United Kingdom Approves Their Third Vaccine
At the end of the week, the UK has approved its first Covid-19 vaccine. Following the earlier approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, as well as the Oxford and Astra Zeneca one, Britain has now approved the Moderna vaccine as well.
17 million doses of the Moderna vaccine are expected to arrive in the UK as the country hopes to have 2 million citizens vaccinated by mid-February.
EU Has Secured Over 2.3 Billion Doses And European Commission Proposes Buying More Doses
Early last week, the Moderna vaccine has been authorized in the European Union, making it the second available jab after the Pfizer/BioNTech one. In the statement released on the 8th of February, the European Commission revealed that they have proposed to the member states acquiring additional 200 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine.
The statement pointed out that the EU has, “acquired a broad portfolio of vaccines with different technologies. It has secured up to 2.3 billion doses from the most promising vaccine candidates for Europe and its neighborhood”
Although as of now, there are only two vaccines available in the EU, more candidates are expected to be approved in the upcoming weeks.
US: AstraZeneca Not Approved Until The Spring?
While the AstraZeneca vaccine has already been approved in the UK, large parts of South-America, several Asian countries, and will most likely get the emergency approval from the EU in the upcoming weeks, the sources say that it may not get the US approval until late in the Spring.
AstraZeneca has not applied for the FDA emergency approval as of now. The FDA advisory and US vaccine experts claim that a serious error in the AstraZeneca trial requires the company to submit more extensive information to FDA and the collection of that data is expected to take at least a couple of months. The error in question involved a subset of participants younger than 55 who were unintentionally given a half-dose first job, and then full dose during the follow-up. Surprisingly, it has shown such an administration gives better effects which is why the topic must be researched further.
China Biotech: Vaccine 50 million before Lunar New Year?
China has an ongoing Covid-19 vaccination program in more than 75 cities at this moment. As opposed to the Western countries, the main vaccine used in China is the one developed locally by Sinovac Biotech. Although the vaccine has not been approved in Europe as of now, more than 300 million doses have been sold to developing countries.
As reported by the New York Times, on Thursday, the officials in Brazil have officially stated the Chinese Sinovac Biotech vaccine is effective. In late December, a small clinical trial conducted in Turkey has shown the vaccine is approximately 91% effective. As the intensive research continues the Sinovac Biotech vaccine is the one that could supply most of the developing countries.
To find out how the vaccine approval process around the world has been unfolding, check out:
Telecom: China Telecom and NYSE Drama
The drama that has unfolded on the NYSE following an order from Trump’s administration about delisting the three Chinese Telecom giants has surprised even the long-standing NYSE analysts.
The order to ban the Chinese state-owned Telecom giants: China Mobile (CHL), China Telecom (CHA), and China Unicom (CHU) from trading on the NYSE was announced at the end of 2020. However, early last week, NYSE came with a surprise announcement that reversed that decision.
In the statement issued on January 5th, the exchange said that “ “in light of further consultation with relevant regulatory authorities”, they will no longer ban the Chinese telecom giants from trading on NYSE.
Having said that, the u-turn announcement was reversed just a day later. On the 6th of January, NYSE revealed they will delist the three telecoms after all. The second reversal was allegedly caused by the US Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, raising objections. In the final statement, NYSE explained its decision to uphold the ban by specific guidance coming from the US Treasury Department.
The suspension will start today. The shares of the three telecom companies involved have been a rollercoaster over the past week. Following the final announcement claiming that the Chinese telecom giants will not be able to trade on NYSE, the shares in all companies fell by approximately 8% in Hong Kong where they are also listed, as reported by the BBC.
To read more about the drama between the state-owned Telecoms and NYSE, see :
Remember to come back next week for the tech news highlights of the week!
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