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Significant Digits For Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.


In the final two months of 2017, the price of the cryptocurrency monero quadrupled in value to $349, and is up a further 7 percent this year. It grew faster than the top cryptocurrency, bitcoin, which is saying something. Criminals were once a core customer base for bitcoin, but as people have gotten better at tracing where the currency comes from and where it goes, it’s fallen out of favor. That’s left an opening for monero — which encrypts recipients’ addresses — to scoop up that core crimedoer demo. [Bloomberg]

10,784 musical compositions

Wixen Music Publishing is suing streaming service Spotify, claiming they infringed on the copyrights of 10,784 songs in Wixen’s library, and that Spotify didn’t obtain the correct licenses to stream those songs, including those of Tom Petty and the Doors. Wixen is saying it could be owed as much as $1.6 billion. [The Wrap]

19,000 pounds

The Tiangong-1, a 19,000-pound Chinese space station that the nation reportedly lost control of two years ago, will likely come crashing down to earth sometime in March 2018. If the when is iffy, the where is even worse: scientists know that it’ll come down somewhere between the 43° North and 43° South latitudes, but that is a massive range encompassing every inhabited continent on the planet. [CBS New York]

4 million

In case you needed a reminder that things are different in Canada: Thanks to a new program, the 4 million youth of Ontario who are under 25-years-old will now have access to free prescription medications, provided the drugs come from a list of 4,400 approved medications. [CTV News]

$900 million

Meanwhile, in the United States, people are turning to social media to pay for treatment. There have been $900 million in donations on YouCaring — a project similar to Kickstarter or GoFundMe, but with a specific eye towards charitable fundraising — since 2011 that went to medical campaigns. [Mother Jones]

5 billion

Amazon announced Tuesday that it shipped upwards of 5 billion items in 2017 to Prime subscribers alone. One of the hot items of the year — Instant Pot multicookers — was one bellwether of the digital giant’s reach. Amazon delivered at least one Instant Pot to two out of every three U.S. zip codes. [Quartz]

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If you see a significant digit in the wild, send it to @WaltHickey.

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.