The Los Angeles Clippers announced that they have traded All-Star forward Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons in a secretive deal that caught NBA fans off-guard.
In return for Griffin, the Clippers will receive forward Tobias Harris, shooting guard Avery Bradley and center Boban Marjanovic as well as a first and second round draft pick.
The Pistons will also receive power forward Brice Johnson as well as center Willie Reed.
All Star Griffin who was a key member of the L.A. Clippers is the latest player to leave the NBA franchise. During the off season long time teammate Chris Paul also left the team to sign a multi-year deal with the Houston Rockets.
The deal will put DeAndre Jordan under pressure as he is one of the few remaining members left in the once talented Clippers lineup. The Clippers have had a poor run in recent times due to injuries and players underperforming in key games. The trade-off will see new blood come into the Clipper’s line-up and owner Steve Ballmer will be optimistic that the new members will help to turnaround the fortunes of the Clippers.
There had been talks that Griffin would leave the team during the off season but those rumors were squashed when the four time All-Star signed a five-year, $171 million deal to stay with NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers. Griffin met with team owner Steve Ballmer and head coach Doc Rivers before the contract was signed and indicated that he wanted his legacy to be a Clipper. The deal however did not include a no-trade clause, which allowed the deal with Detroit to go through.
So far this season Griffin has averaged 22.6 points, 5.4 assists and 7.9 rebounds but has only been able to play in 33 games. Injuries have been a problem with Griffin as he has struggled to play an entire season for the Clippers throughout his time with them. This season, Griffin has had to miss a number of games due to a problematic knee and also because he suffered a concussion earlier in the season.
In a statement, Ballmer said
Blake Griffin had a tremendous impact on this organization and his legacy within the community of Los Angeles will be permanent. It was a pleasure getting to know and cheer for Blake. I wish him, as well as Brice and Willie, the best of luck.
The Pistons are hoping that Griffin's scoring prowess and experience will help their young team. With Bradley and Harris going to the Clippers, the Pistons will also need Griffin to fill in the scoring void.
The Premier League returned to action on Tuesday night and there were big wins for both Swansea City and Liverpool, while West Ham were held by Crystal Palace. Here is what happened on an action-filled night:
Swansea recovered a potentially massive victory in the fight for survival at the Liberty Stadium, as it took the catapulted the Welsh side from the bottom of the table to out of the relegation zone.
The home side dominated the first half hour of this game. However, the visitors drew first blood. Mesut Ozil crossed to the far post and Nacho Monreal poked the ball home beyond Lukasz Fabianski.
The lead last just a few minutes, though. Centre-back Alfie Mawson stepped out of defence and played a superb ball through the centre of the Arsenal defence to midfielder Sam Clucas, who fired beyond the out coming Petr Cech.
Arsenal started the second period on the front foot. However, the Gunners gifted the Swans the lead just after the hour mark. Shkodran Mustafi’s played a poor back pass to Cech, who cleared the ball straight to the feet of Jordan Ayew, who had the simple task of rolling the ball into the net. The home side sealed the victory with four minutes left on the clock. Ayew again ran at Mustafi, only for the defender to tackle the forward and Clucas to collect the rebound and fire home.
The victory is potentially massive for the home side. The Swans are only outside the relegation zone on goal difference. However, it is a start to a team who were previously written off. Arsenal are now a massive eight points behind fourth-placed Liverpool in the race for the Champions League spots.
Liverpool bounced back from consecutive defeats to record a very comfortable victory over struggling Huddersfield at the John Smiths Stadium.
The Merseysiders took the lead on 26 minutes. Christopher Schindler cleared Andrew Robertson’s cross only for the ball to fall to Emre Can, who volleyed home via a deflection off Town midfielder Philip Billing. The visitors doubled their lead in first-half stoppage-time. Sadio Mane produced a brilliant flick to put Roberto Firmino in on the left side of the area and the Brazilian forward managed to squeeze the ball past Jonas Lossl at his near post.
Liverpool dominated for long periods of the second half and the third goal arrived on 78 minutes. Billing brought down Can in the penalty area and Mohamed Salah made no mistake from the spot to confirm maximum points for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
The win consolidated the Reds position in the top-four and the visitors are one of the favourites to seal a Champions League spot for next season. At the other end of the table, Huddersfield are just one point above the drop zone after a terrible run of form.
Two teams just above the relegation zone, West Ham and Crystal Palace played out a tight draw at the London Stadium.
The visitors took the lead on 24 minutes. Winger Andros Townsend produced a pinpoint cross to Christian Benteke at the far post and the striker headed home from close-range. However, the home were level just before the break. James Tomkins upended Javier Hernandez in the Eagles penalty area and Irons captain Mark Noble kept his cool to fire home with the spot kick.
The point moved the home side into the top half of the table. However, such is the congested nature of the bottom half, David Moyes side are just four points clear of the relegation zone. Palace are 12th place and just three points above the drop zone.
Who recorded the most important Premier League win on Tuesday night?
According to the South Korean news website “The Bell,” Samsung Electronics is entering into the mass production of ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) hardware suitable for crypto currency mining. The electronics giant has successfully completed the designing of semiconductor ASIC for Bitcoin mining last year. For large scale production, the company has entered into a partnership with TSMC, a Taiwan based Bitcoin hardware manufacturer. TSMC has started production in January.
TSMC, also known as Taiwan semiconductor, is the world’s largest dedicated independent semiconductor foundry having high profile customers such as Apple Inc., Advanced Micro Devices, and Qualcomm. The company is supplying ASIC hardware to major Bitcoin mining company Bitmain.
Samsung has also begun mass production of 10-nanometer, 16Gb GDDR6 DRAM for graphics card (Graphics Processing Unit), suitable for crypto currency mining. GDDR6 DRAM is twice as fast as GDDR5 DRAM and consumes low power. The power efficiency increases by more than 35%, while improving GPU performance.
The team behind the development of the first self-mining smart contract Minereum has successfully launched Artemine, another self mining smart contract with plenty of new features. Artemine is regarded as version 2 of Minereum by its developers. In line with the roadmap presented in autumn 2017, Artemine (ARTE) also released the genesis addresses trading website. The platform allows anyone to mine coins automatically without the need of a mining equipment.
In addition of respecting the Self-Mining principle introduced by Minereum, Artemine allows unrestricted access to public mining, safe decentralized trading of Genesis Addresses, Dynamic Genesis Addresses Supply (Generated During ICO) and Transfer of Genesis Addresses. Genesis Addresses are addresses part of the creation of the initial supply of Artemine. These addresses are attributed with a certain amount of coins that will be self-mined for a specific amount of time.
According to the company 2,898 Genesis Addresses were generated during the ICO. Furthermore, the mining rate of Artemine’s Genesis Addresses is 0.000001% of the total amount of ARTE attributed to it per Ethereum block. The coins will be mined for 100,000,000 Ethereum blocks. Considering the fact that it takes 20 seconds to mine a block of Ethereum, the mining duration will be approximately 63 years.
Artemine Genesis Address Holders will be able to transfer their Genesis Addresses holdings to another address by calling the function “TransferGenesis”. However, the target address must have 0 ARTE.
Artemine smart contract function “SetGenesisBuyPrice” allows Genesis holders to set an ETH price to their Address. Interested users will be able to call the function “BuyGenesisAddress” by sending the exact ETH amount the Genesis Address Holder has set as the buy price. The transaction will be completed automatically without involvement of middleman.
The developers are hopeful that once the crypto currency investors realize the benefit of self-mining, the Genesis Address market will command a value of move than $1 billion. Artemine (ARTE) is traded in Livecoin and Etherdelta exchanges.
Bitcoin network underwent another hard fork at block number 505083, on January 21, to create Bitcoin Interest (BCI). So far we had seen about 19 Bitcoin hard forks and another 50 is going to happen this year. However, there is one major characteristic which differentiates Bitcoin Interest from other variants of Bitcoin created through hard fork. The holders of Bitcoin Interest will receive interest at a rate higher than traditional banks. The interest will be paid weekly or monthly in the form of Bitcoin Interest (BCI) coins.
Bitcoin Interest is an enhanced Proof-of-Work (“PoW”) equihash algorithm, which has started with a lower mining difficulty than Bitcoin. The network utilizes GPU mining and avoids the need for costly ASIC hardware. The developers behind the project believe that the network will be more decentralized as small miners would involve themselves in mining activity with GPU hardware.
Every BCI block has two rewards – 12.5 BCI coins for miners and 1.08 BCI coins to facilitate interest payments. As the block difficulty increases, interest pool reward will decrease from 1.08 BCI coins to 0.54 BCI coins. That will ensure regular interest payments to those who participate in parking their BCI coins. Similar to Bitcoin, the block size is 1M (2M-4M) and block interval is 10 minutes. A total supply of only 21 million coins will be created. The difficulty is adjusted every block. It offers support to SegWit and provides replay protection.
The interest rate is not set and depends on the number of BCI coins parked by a holder and the total number of BCI coins parked in the active round. After the BCI coins are parked, the system will continue to monitor whether the coins are parked for the entire round. At the completion of a round, the system will proportionately distribute the balance in the interest pool to those who parked their coins.
After parking the BCI coins, a holder can choose to receive interest on a weekly or monthly basis. If the coins are withdrawn before the completion of the round, then no interest payment will be made. The weekly interest round will use 30% of the interest pool balance for payments, while the monthly interest round will use 70% of the pool balance for payouts.
Currently, HitBTC and OKEX supports the fork and will credit the account holders with BCI coin soon. The developers are also negotiating with exchanges such as Bitfinex and Bittrex.
Earlier this month, Ripple had announced that MoneyGram will be testing its platform for payment transfer. The news was followed by another announcement saying that IDT corporation and MercuryFX has entered into an agreement to test xRapid platform of Ripple. Yesterday, SBI Ripple Asia, a joint venture company between the Japanese firm SBI and San Francisco based block chain company Ripple, announced that it is forming a consortium of about 18 companies to study the use of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) in securities products.
The primary objective of the consortium is to conduct proof of concept testing on emerging technologies, including block chain, to reduce costs and improve efficiency for customers. Notable firms in the consortium include Nomura, Daiwa, and SBI securities.
In particular, the consortium will try to implement a shared log-in solution for brokerage accounts of customers using biometrics and other personal identifying information. The consortium is also aiming to use artificial intelligence to screen trading activity. The implementation of such facilities, planned to be developed with block chain technology, will increase the users convenience.
Recently, SBI Ripple Asia has also formed a consortium of leading credit card companies in Japan. Again, the objective is to reduce cost and improve customer satisfaction.
All major crypto currencies are on a downhill at the time of writing this article, following an announcement banning binary options and crypto currency advertisements by the social media platform provider Facebook. Bitcoin (BTC) has fallen below the psychological level of $10,000, while Ripple (XRP) struggles to hold above the psychological level of $1. Interestingly, Ethereum continues to receive huge support near $1000.
Facebook, through its blog, announced that it will not tolerate advertisements of financial products and services related to binary options, ICOs, or crypto currency. The blog announcement states that the company has taken such a decision to discourage misleading or deceptive promotional practices. The blog further goes on to say that most of the companies advertising binary options, ICOs and crypto currencies do not operate in good faith.
Facebook also intends to implement the policy in Instagram and Audience Network. Facebook stated that these advertisements violate the core advertising principles of the company. The company has also requested Facebook users to report content that violates the principles.
Internet users should always double check before clicking any online links. If not, they will certainly lose money as it happened to crypto currency investors who were eagerly waiting to subscribe to the Experty ICO, which commences tomorrow. The hackers managed to gain access to the email list of Experty ICO. It was then used to drop an email alert about the pre-ICO sale of tokens. The email also included a link directing them to pay in Ether to the hackers’s Ethereum address. Unsuspecting crypto investors, who did not double check the deceptive email address and links, lost as much as $150,000 in the phishing scam.
Experty is currently developing a block chain based Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) calling system. The platform also wishes to provide professionals an opportunity to share their knowledge for money through the application. The knowledge providers will be compensated based on the minute rates set by them. Experty anticipates professionals in the legal, consulting and medical fields to use the platform.
The developers have plans to issue the platform’s native ERC223 token – Experty (EXY) – through the ICO. Through a post on Medium, Experty has explained how the hackers got access to the mailing list. It seems that the PC of one of the Proof-of Caring (people who promote the ICO’s in return for tokens) reviewers was compromised and the hackers got access data to the mailing list.
Using the mailing list, the hackers sent an email alert on January 27, indicating that they have just 12 hours to capitalize on the pre-ICO sale opportunity. To deceive the recipients in the mailing list, the emails were spoofed and sent from ico.experty.bitcosuisse @tindie.com. Notably, Bitcoin Suisse is the official name of the company commencing the ICO. The FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) effect created by the email ensured payments from 71 email recipients, according to Bitcoin Suisse. The total amount lost to hackers amounted to $150,000. The hackers had also cleverly used more than one Ethereum address.
The Experty team has officially announced that it will compensate everyone who has their ETH address in the database an additional 100 EXY token, valued at $150. They have also mentioned that additional precautionary measures are taken to avoid a repeat of such incidents.
International ratings agency Weiss published its letter grade ratings for crypto currency recently. However, crypto enthusiasts were disappointed to see a c+ rating for Bitcoin. Crypto specialists point out that digital assets are unique and cannot be valued in the same manner as traditional assets such as equities, bonds, etc.
The developer activity surrounding a crypto token is of paramount importance. That will dictate the future growth of a crypto token, in terms of market share and value. In this regard, a new website named Cryptomiso has made an attempt to rate crypto currencies on the basis of the developer activity in Github, a web-based hosting service for version control using git. It is generally used for computer code.
Cryptomiso has rated 616 cryptos so far, and continue to add more. The top ten crypto coins which leads in developer activity will certainly surprise the readers.
1. Cardano (ADA):
2. Lisk (LSK):
3. Waves (Waves)
4. 0x (ZRX)
5. EOS (EOS)
6. GlobalToken (GLT)
7. Bitcoin (BTC)
8. United Bitcoin (UBTC)
9. Augur (REP)
10. Raiden Network Token (RDN)
The website also provides a chart, which indicates the frequency with which the code is updated. Cardano (ADA) leads the list with 6,402 commits from 52 contributors. Lisk, a decentralized application in Java script, has 2680 commits from 35 contributors.
EOS (EOS) takes the fifth place from 1,986 commits from 55 contributors. Interestingly, nearly 50% of traded volume of EOS (EOS) coin is in Bithumb, the well-known South Korean exchange. Likewise, Global Token (GLT), which has a market cap of $900,000, with most of the trading activity concentrated in Coin Exchange, is ranked 6th, one place ahead of Bitcoin.
LeaCoin (LEA), BitBoost (BBT), and Agoras (AGRS), which have hardly one commits take up the last few places in the ranking list. As of now, there is no way to filter the list. The fluctuations in the number of commits in the top ten coins are plotted in a single chart and can be downloaded.
The developer activity should not be the only means of selecting a coin for investment. Liquidity and the real-world use are other factors which need to be considered before investing in a coin.
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) recently put forward a proposal to change its License Conditions and Codes of Practice. These regulations are the foundations of the gambling industry in the United Kingdom and any changes to these regulations will greatly affect the gambling industry in the country.
In a statement, Sarah Gardner, executive director of the UKGC, stated the reasons for the planned changes
We are proposing these changes because of the risk of consumer harm, concern about lack of compliance with consumer protection legislation, declining public trust in gambling and concerns about advertising.
These changes include a new requirement to prevent customers from being pestered by SMS and e-mail messages, clearer instructions about advertising requirements and making clear that gambling operators are responsible for their third-party contractors' behavior. Increased customer protection is the focus of these changes. Additionally, there are changes to how customer complaints are handled. The change introduces an eight-week time limit to how long licensees can have before they respond.
The UKGC is dedicated to ensuring that these proposals, once implemented should be followed. To do that, the commission will use its powers to the fullest to punish any operators that violate these requirements. This ranges from heavy fees to the eventual loss of their gambling license.
The UKGC launched in 2017 a three year program that focused on protecting the public from the negative effects of the gambling industry. The UK has been plagued by reports of an increase in problem gambling, especially with regards to children. Last year, a study by the commission revealed that more than two million people in the UK are either at risk of gambling addiction or are already suffering from gambling addiction.
As part of its hope to make the situation better, the UKGC is opening itself to comments and suggestions to its proposals. This consultation process is part of its hope to get in touch with its customers, licensees and other parties. It will stay open up until April 22, 2018.
There has already been a response to the solicitation for feedback. Citizens Advice, a UK charity network has submitted a report to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport on the negative impact of gambling beyond that of the original gambler. The report states that up to 4.3 million family members, friends, and work colleagues suffer from knock-on effects of gambling addiction.
Besides the report, Citizens Advice has called for a ban on online credit card deposits for gambling. Additionally, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport is hoping to lower the maximum wagers at fixed-odds betting terminals to as low as £2, while requiring UK gambling operators to increase their contribution to charities that help with gambling addiction.