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Azabu Insights: Survey Shows 34% increase in Mask Usage in Tokyo

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TOKYO, Apr 06, 2020 – (JCN Newswire) – A group of strategy consultants at Azabu Insights, Tokyo, Japan have been analyzing the coronavirus outbreak since its onset. We are continually looking for insights to share in the hope that they can help people or companies through this difficult time.

[Image #1] Percentage of People Wearing Masks on Mar 13, and on Apr 2.
[Image #2] Percentage of Women and Men Wearing Masks on Mar 13, and on Apr 2.

On March 13th an Azabu Insights survey showed that only sixty-four percent of commuters in central Tokyo were wearing masks. While no February survey was conducted, we believed that masks usage was significantly higher in February when the early cases of coronavirus were detected in Japan. Our researchers concluded that the reason mask usage was down was that supplies had run out, “masks have been sold out at the convenience stores for at least a week now and shipments from Amazon are expected to take ten days to two weeks.”

Another consideration could have been that the spring had come, young Tokyoites felt they had largely beaten the coronavirus and it was time to get out. At the time the Prime Minister was still optimistic the Olympics might happen this year. Whatever the reason, mask-usage was almost definitely lower than it had been a few weeks earlier.

[Image #1] Percentage of People Wearing Masks on Mar 13, and on Apr 2.

As the coronavirus situation continues to evolve globally and has also received renewed focus in Japan, Azabu Insights refreshed this survey data on April 2nd. The data showed there has been a significant uptick in mask usage with eighty-six percent of people surveyed now wearing masks.

Drivers for Increase in Usage: Change in Tone from the Top?

While the drivers for the increase are not altogether clear there are a number of factors that we look to for guidance.

There has been a distinct change in tone from the top. Prime Minister Abe, Tokyo Mayor Koike as well as many politicians are now wearing masks during parliament and press conferences. The 2020 Olympics have been delayed, which may have freed the government to make more direct statements. They have conducted press conferences with the MHLW urging people to abstain from nightlife, such as bars and karaoke. The MHLW has noted that nightlife has been a source of infection clusters in Japan. Mayor Koike has raised the possibility of a lockdown of Tokyo.

Looking at supply, masks still seem perpetually sold out at the convenience stores and there is a continuing backlog on Amazon. That said, the government had made a commitment to increasing the supply. People seem to have gotten their hands on supply somehow and we also expect that many people have started re-using masks across multiple days. Note we do not believe the increase in usage is a result of utilizing hand-made masks, which continue to be less than five percent of masks observed.

The West is Catching the Mask Craze

Also during this period there has been a significant change in opinion in western countries with a large number of important figures recommending them, starting with an opinion piece by researchers at Yale on March 19th. Former Harvard School of Public Health dean, Harvey Fineberg also agreed, saying that he will be wearing a face-covering himself.

After a couple of weeks of media debate, a recent CNN article, pronounced, “Asia may have been right about coronavirus and face masks, and the rest of the world is coming around.”

Meanwhile health officials also seem to have come around. The CDC and White House expressed on Thursday that they may change the recommendation to wear masks shortly. While the WHO has reiterated its stance that people should not use masks, the consensus seems to be that this guidance may be to protect vital stores for hospitals.

In the United States there has been a boom in grandmothers making handmade masks – so much so that there is now a two week back order for elastic on Amazon. In addition major apparel companies like H&M (Sweden), New Balance (Massachusetts, USA) and others who have stepped up to begin making masks.

We see all of this as very positive for the West. But we expect it has had little effect on usage in Japan. Instead we think increasing supply, more people getting and holding on to their masks, more positive leadership from the government, and more concern by the citizenry has caused the increase.

Women Are Playing It Slightly Safer Than Men

It appears that women are playing it slightly safer than men. Our data showed that on March 13th, sixty-eight percent of women were wearing masks, compared to only sixty percent of men. In our April 2nd data, we found that ninety percent of women were wearing masks and eighty-two percent of men.

[Image #2] Percentage of Women and Men Wearing Masks on Mar 13, and on Apr 2.

Methodology

For all surveys they were conducted by assessing the number of commuters of each gender passing through a central Tokyo train station over a 90 minute period. For both the March and April surveys the weather conditions were remarkably similar, reflecting an unseasonably warm winter, so this is not seen as a significant factor.

Conclusions

In our previous research we reviewed several scientific studies that showed masks having a positive impact on the minimization of spread of infectious diseases. We are heartened to see the change in attitude in many western countries as they become supportive of masks as a tool that regular people can employ in helping to fight this pandemic. We are also happy to see Japan increasing its usage again, regardless of the reason.

Our team has been impressed with how fast opinions have changed in the west and how quickly people have produced novel solutions such as the entrepreneurial grandmas with their sewing machines. We are also impressed that so many companies are stepping up to offer their resources in creative ways to help beat this virus.

As we recommended in our internal article three weeks ago, we would like to see a more sustainable solution in fashionable, washable masks produced in Japan. If each person had three or four of these ready to go in their sock drawer, we could avoid future shortages of the “throw away” type masks.

On that note, the Prime Minister proposed distributing cloth masks to the general populace a few hours after we wrote the draft of this article. While some have argued that he needs to take more drastic steps to control the disaster, we think it is a step in the right direction.

Please send comments to: [email protected]

About Azabu Insights

Azabu Insights is a boutique strategic consulting company based in Azabu Juban, Tokyo, Japan. Our teams work collaboratively with clients to build strategies that lead to positive change. Our multilingual team members have top tier academic backgrounds and deep industry experience that we leverage to provide first class, fully engaged, strategic consulting. Core specializations include life sciences, finance, electronics, automotives, aerospace and other industries. For more information contact: [email protected].

Source: http://www.jcnnewswire.com/pressrelease/58438/3/

Blockchain

Bitcoin: Here’s the long-term signal you might be ignoring

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Bitcoin’s market capitalization hitting $1 trillion corresponded with a surge in price on the charts. In the said case, the last of the market volatility and network momentum pushed the price higher, before the drop that followed. However, if we look at Bitcoin as an asset to be used as collateral, there is wider scope for the vertical growth of its market capitalization.

Arcane Research’s latest report looked at the journey from $1 trillion to $20 trillion, a figure that is the value of the global market for collateral. Currently, while this $20 trillion market is dominated by government bonds and cash-based securities, there is a widening gap that is creating systemic risk in the system.

This makes it possible for Bitcoin to bridge the gap and make the collateral system largely risk-free and stable, unlike the fragility being observed right now. Counterparty risk and credit risk are currently the top two challenges in the collateral system and Bitcoin could emerge as the ideal solution in such a case.

Using Bitcoin as collateral, and how it impacts the price

Source: Arcane Research

Based on the aforementioned report, it can be estimated that around 6,25,000 BTCs are being used as collateral in the crypto-market. At their current price, that would be worth approximately $30 billion. However, right now, Bitcoin accounts for just 0.15% of the total collateral market. With the figures for the same expected to rise, the same is likely to have a positive impact on the price in the long-term.

Of late, whenever Open Interest on derivatives exchanges has hit a peak, it has coincided with times of high volatility and hikes in Bitcoin’s price, with corrections following soon after. An over-leveraged market is closer to price correction, based on past instances in previous cycles.

Using Bitcoin as collateral, and how it impacts the price

Source: Arcane Research

The attached chart, for instance, highlights the OI in Bitcoin Futures corresponding to March 2020’s Black Thursday and the recent ATH of $58,330. Since derivatives markets were the ones to first introduce Bitcoin as collateral, a hike in OI in Bitcoin Futures signals there may be an increase in the amount of Bitcoin being used as collateral, and eventually the price of the asset, in the long-term.

Now, this metric may not influence the price in the short-term as much as other metrics like trade volume, exchange reserves, and the SOPR. In the long-term, however, leveraged futures may lead to a hike in Bitcoin’s price.


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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/bitcoin-heres-the-long-term-signal-you-might-be-ignoring

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ProBit Exchange Lists EXGold (EXG) | Gold For The Digital Age

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ProBit Exchange Lists EXGold (EXG) | Gold For The Digital Age

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EXGold (EXG) has officially listed their token EXG on ProBit Exchange as the digital gold solution solidifies their partnership networks with one of the top South Korean exchanges and its global demographics.

EXGold was developed to capitalize on the burgeoning stable coin niche through its innovative, digitized protocol. Eliciting unmatched price stability and promising conceptual NFTs, EXGold will offer a reliable revenue stream for holders willing to subscribe to predetermined lockup periods.

Pegged to the price of gold, EXGold will reflexively mirror the price of its real-world counterpart. This relationship is immutable, meaning 1 EXGold token will always be worth the price of 1 gram of gold.

Grounded in the Ethereum protocol, EXG offers frictionless transferability and inherent scarcity, with a circulating token supply fixed at 5 million. EXGold ensures a fair, secure incentive structure with programmable smart contracts and predetermined lock-up periods. Soon to be available on Uniswap, EXGold developers are pushing to establish EXG as a potentially leading stablecoin and safe-haven asset.

EXGold’s recent partnership with a Peruvian mine, enabling direct tradeability, is a first of potentially many, real-world partners and the platform is transforming how traders interact with gold and view the “buy” and “hold” process.

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EXGold is a digital secure way to buy and hold gold and is pegged to 1 gram of gold.

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DISCLAIMER Read More

The views expressed in the article are wholly those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, ZyCrypto. This article is not meant to give financial advice. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the various cryptocurrencies available.

Source: https://zycrypto.com/probit-exchange-lists-exgold-exg-gold-for-the-digital-age/

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Bitcoin: Another Correction Stage is Over

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By Dmitriy Gurkovskiy, Chief Analyst at RoboForex

The digital currency is actively recovering after a deep correction. For bulls, it was important to make the price rebound from the support area at $42,500. A lot of investors are scared by such high volatility of the cryptoasset, even hedge funds are pretty sure that the number of institutional investors, who are ready to invest in BTC, will significantly increase after these fluctuations slow down.

Citibank experts believe that there comes a crucial moment for Bitcoin and the digital asset may either become a global payment method or end up with another speculative blowout. JPMorgan specialists are very active in recommending their clients to hedge from other types of markets, such as stocks and precious metals, and invest up to 1% of their investment portfolios in Bitcoin and other digital currencies.

btcusd

In the daily chart, BTC/USD has once again rebounded from the area between Moving Averages and that’s still an indication of a bullish impulse. The previous movement from such an area resulted in further growth of the asset by more than $29,000. Possibly, this scenario may repeat this time as well and BTC may reach $72,000-75,000. Another signal in favor of this idea is another rebound from the support line at the RSI. However, the bullish scenario may no longer be valid if the instrument breaks the rising channel’’ downside border and fixes below $42,950. After that, the price may move downwards with the target at $29,135.

The current asset growth can’t even be stopped by growing criticism of the primary cryptocurrency. Bill Gates is sure that the performance of transactions in the Bitcoin network is extremely power-consuming if compared with conventional transfers, and that causes a lot of harm to nature in the long run. Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, who is called Indian Warrant Buffett, appealed for regulating authorities to ban BTC in India and said that the asset was just a speculation of the highest order.

Many investors think that the current aggressive growth of Bitcoin is just a temporary phenomenon caused by heightening interest among major investors. As far back as a year ago, Ray Dalio said that with cryptocurrencies moving higher and being accepted everywhere, these assets may face aggressive criticism as well as an eventual ban by authorities. This is exactly what we are witnessing right now.

btcusd

As we can see in the H4 chart, BTC/USD has broken the descending channel to the upside and may continue trading upwards to reach $65,000. However, one shouldn’t exclude that the pair may resume growing only after returning to the broken border. A strong signal in favor of a further uptrend will be a rebound from the support line at the RSI.

Disclaimer

Any predictions contained herein are based on the author’s particular opinion. This analysis shall not be treated as trading advice. RoboForex shall not be held liable for the results of the trades arising from relying upon trading recommendations and reviews contained herein.

Source: https://themerkle.com/bitcoin-another-correction-stage-is-over/

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