Recently, there have been a few accounts that sell discount dA premiums, like CORE membership, cake badges and llama attire. They do this as follows: each entrant pays, say, 20 points for a cake badge, they're put on a waiting list, as soon as 4 people have paid 20 points, the person on top of the waiting list gets a cake badge.
This seems cute, but it's actually a Ponzi scheme, a type of pyramid scheme, and as such it is illegal.
While the starters of such accounts can hardly be compared to Madoff or Shkreli, they essentially do the same thing: relying on the next batch of investors to pay off the first ones.
Thing is, cake badges cost 80 points, and at some point the bubble is going to burst. To pay for 1 investor, you need 4. To pay 4 investors, you need 16. To pay off those 16, you need 64. To pay off those 64, you need 256 investors.
Get it? Exponential growth! Like the grain on the chessboard story, except it grows twice as fast!
Let's do the math - I love math:
Let's say th