Largest Crypto Hack In History; Songwriters To Get Pay Bump From Streaming Services; Fake Followers Are Very Real

The Water Coolest

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Move over Mt. Gox, there is a new sheriff in town. That is, if by “sheriff” we meant the most colossal crypto-coin loss on the part of a mostly unregulated exchange and by “town” we meant the crypto-economy. Coincheck, one of Japan’s largest crypto-exchanges is in the spotlight for losing $400M-ish worth of investors NEM tokens.

The loss is being called a hack but the exact cause has yet to be determined. Coincheck is considering righting their wrong as they contemplate a refund to users who lost their precious NEM tokens. Although comparable to Mt. Gox’s catastrophic loss, this Danny Ocean job may not have as large of an effect on the market (and Coincheck) as the crypto-economy has grown exponentially.

NEM tokens are best known as vegan and Prius drivers digital currency of choice. They laud themselves as more environmentally friendly than their electricity-sucking counterparts such as bitcoin.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Maybe some people (read: me) just like to see the world burn but I’m rooting for this to happen more. Not so those insufferable Instagram bitcoin thousandaires have to live on the streets but so maybe, just maybe it will change the mind of one idiot from emptying his kid’s college account and putting it into Doge Coins.”



After a decision from the US Copyright and Royalty Board, streaming services will be required to raise the rate that they’re paying songwriters and publishers by roughly 44% over the next 5 years. The new rate is based on the higher amount of either the percentage of revenue or total content costs paid to the music labels signing the deals.

While the writers were hoping for a pay-per-stream model, this is the highest increase in compensation that songwriters have seen in the age of streaming. To put things in perspective, for every $3.82 paid to a music label, a writer will make $1.

A pay raise is something that could affect consumers who use services like Pandora and Spotify. While companies like Apple and Amazon use music streaming as a complement to their bread and butter (hardware), Spotify and Pandora have no devices to fall back on and risk seeing thinner profit margins. Just imagine how many ads there are going to be every time you skip a song on free versions of the services.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Sticking it to the man has always been a major undertone for the music industry, so it’s good to see the government standing up for the writers. If they hadn’t, could you imagine all the sad country songs that would have been written about Spotify’s unfair pricing practices?”



[*In my best 30 for 30 intro voice*] What if I told you there was an entire seedy internet black market selling social media followers whose customers include Michael Dell, Ray Lewis and Martha Lane Fox, a Twitter board member

TBH, you probably wouldn’t be that surprised to find out that there are an estimated 48M fake Twitter accounts. But the scale and complexity of the operations is mind-boggling. Devumi, and other companies like it create fake social media accounts that anyone can purchase, some of which are fake accounts of real people.

Not in the market for an entire account? Just buy some followers. Of course some people just purchase followers to inflate their shallow egos but a few hundred thousand “fans” can have a bigger impact than filling a void of popularity dating back to high school.

Follower count can be a decisive factor in determining appearance fees or how much money one can command to promote a product. But before you write off those Instagram weight loss tea peddlers, keep in mind they can earn as much as $20k per post (based on 1M followers).

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Remember when we were kids and our parents told us to never talk to strangers? And then remember when the internets became a thing and our parents told us to be careful about what we put online? Well I guess we should’ve listened to our parents advice more. Just another way our generation has disappointed our parents.”




  • For its Super Bowl ads Budweiser doesn’t plan to feature its famous Clydesdales … or beer. The ads will focus on its philanthropic efforts, including shipping canned water to natural disaster ravaged areas. This is kinda like tobacco companies advertising with inhalers and emphysema meds. 
  • Google is testing a new app called Bulletin which allows users to report hyper-local news in real time. Think: emergencies in your neighborhood, up to the minute weather reports etc. So basically, Twitter.
  • Bombardier scored a HUGE trade victory over Boeing last week. The International Trade Commission voted in favor of Bombardier, a Canadian company, who now will not be subject to 300% tariffs on the planes it plans to deliver to US-based Delta Airlines. The skies just got a whole lot friendlier. 
  • Venmo will now allow for instant bank account transfers … for the low, low price of 25 cents per transaction. Just in case you were wondering why your weed dealer started charging a service charge.
  • Madden NFL game play will be coming to ESPN and DisneyXD starting February 2nd.
  • US indices were up Friday:
    • DOW: +0.85%
    • S&P 500: +1.18%
    • NASDAQ: +1.28%


Mondays are for motivation …


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… failure’s not. 

Sure B-Rabbit sought “success.” But what is “success?” Is it getting out of the trailer park? Is it international fame? Or is it to have so much money that you forget about more money than most people ever had (looking at you 50 cent)? Before I go down an existential rabbit hole, let’s have a look at what the average American considers having “made it”