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Recode Daily: The most important app in Iran

Plus, Spotify faces a $1.6 billion lawsuit, Peter Thiel’s monster bet on bitcoin, the lucrative industry of Addiction Inc., and your first meme of 2018.

Jon Batiste performs at a piano onstage for Spotify.
Jon Batiste performs on stage at the Spotify Supper during Advertising Week New York at The Pool on Sept. 26, 2017 in New York City.
Ilya S. Savenok / Getty Images for Spotify

In 2009, Iranian protestors relied on Twitter. Now theyre flocking to Telegram, a messaging app that lets them communicate privately. In response, the Iranian government is trying to block the app, along with other social media tools like Instagram. In other news cycles, Telegram has been criticized as a tool used by terrorists. [Sam Schechner, Stu Woo / Wall Street Journal]

Spotify has been hit with a $1.6 billion lawsuit from a music publisher that represents titles by Tom Petty, Neil Young and Stevie Nicks. Wixen Music Publishing alleges that Spotify is underpaying songwriters and streaming thousands of songs without a proper license. The suit comes as Spotify preps for a long-awaited IPO. [Variety]

Founders Fund, the venture capital firm co-founded by Peter Thiel, made a monster bet on bitcoin last summer, and that $15 million to $20 million investment is now worth hundreds of millions of dollars. [The Wall Street Journal]

Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son has changed the startup game with his aggressive investing and enormous checkbook. Bloomberg looks into the SoftBank CEO’s eccentric, relentless deal-making, and asks: Does he know what he’s doing? [Bloomberg]

With millions falling victim to America’s opioid epidemic, here’s a four-part series that looks at Addiction Inc. — the $35 billion recovery industry — and on its fringes, the marketing wizards, urine-testing millionaires, addicts-turned-entrepreneurs and other opportunistic people clustering around the lucrative business of turning addicts into customers and billable fortunes. [The New York Times]

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This is cool

Here it is, your first major meme of 2018.

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