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Breakfast Briefing: Cryptos Tank, BP Pays up & Blockchain Patents

Tencent Targets Game Cheats

Ahead of releasing PlayerUnknown in China, Tencent is cracking down on cheat software.  

Editor’s Remarks: The world’s largest video game company, Tencent, is collaborating with Chinese police to unearth criminal rings that make and sell programs that allow players to cheat. So far, there have been 30 such cases with over 120 people arrested and many doing jail time. PlayerUnknown has around 27 million users worldwide, and shattered video game records in 2017; around half of these users are in China despite the game not yet being officially released there. It is suspected that there are around 5m cheats on the game’s network – the majority of whom, it is believed, are also Chinese.

Read more on Technology:

Cryptos Slide Once More

Bitcoin fell to its lowest level since December as the January selloff continues. 

Editor’s Remarks: Bitcoin fell as low as $12,000 yesterday as it continues to struggle in the new year. Other coins fared little better though, with Ethereum down 16% and XRP shedding nearly 25%. Recent stars such as Stellar lumens, which fell 22%, were also hit by the correction. However, NEO managed to weather the proverbial storm; it reached highs of $196 on Monday before dipping as low as $130 before settling at around $160 at the time of writing. So far, NEO is up 300% in the last month, which shows that while the overall market has indeed been choppy, not all coins have performed poorly.

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Deepwater Horizon Hits BP Again

The oil giant has agreed to take a $1.7bn charge for the 2010 oil spill as part of a recent settlement.

Editor’s Remarks: Total cash payments in 2018 relating to the 2010 disaster now total some $3bn, as compared to the company’s prior estimate of $2bn. BP’s outstanding cash charges will be spread over several years and will cover payments to businesses that suffered economic losses stemming from the spill. In total, the oil spill incurred some $62bn of fines and other liabilities for BP, which has only in the past year or so begun to regain its former stature. BP’s recovery has been assisted by climbing oil prices, with extra production at seven new oil and gas projects that came online last year.

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BofA Has Most Blockchain Patents

Bank of America topped IBM and payment firms in terms of blockchain patents. 

Editor’s Remarks: The lender has applied for or received at least 43 blockchain-related patents – the most of any major bank or technology firm. The research clearly points to the fact that financial services firms are embracing blockchain more so than technology companies. IBM, which is hoping that AI and blockchain will form the two main pillars of future revenue growth, has 27 blockchain patents. Interestingly, Bank of America has refused to offer bitcoin futures. Evidently, the firm is more interested in future applications of blockchain rather than capitalising on current trends.

Read more on Blockchain Technology:

Saudi’s $7bn Renewables Push

Saudi Arabia intends to deploy $7bn into renewable energy projects this year. 

Editor’s Remarks: The drive will focus on building solar plants and tenders are to be issued later this year for eight separate projects with a total capacity of 4.125 gigawatts. The move is part of a wider drive to feed the kingdom’s growing demand for energy, which is currently eating away at oil the country intends to export. This latest move is also part of Prince Salman’s wider plan to diversify the economy and rely less heavily on crude production. This strategy has played out in a number of ways to date, including heavy investment into SoftBank’s $100bn Vision Fund.

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