terça-feira, 6 de fevereiro de 2018

Dr. Happer (Professor Emérito de Física): Modelos Climáticos NÃO Funcionam e talvez Nunca Funcionem.



Parece-me que Dr. William Happer colocou a questão climática em seu devido lugar. A previsão climática de aquecimento ou esfriamento é ficção científica, não é ciência.

"Só o cérebro humano é mais complexo que o clima."

Robôs e Mercado Financeiro


Ontem, o mercado financeiro dos Estados Unidos caiu forte, por conta de expectativa de elevação das taxas de juros, uma vez que a previsão é de crescimento muito forte de 5,4% no primeiro trimestre, também de baixos resultados em algumas empresas importantes, como a Apple, mas também por conta da ação de "inteligência artificial" no mercado financeiro.

Isto é, inteligência artificial (AI) está sendo usada por inúmeros bancos e hedge fundos para vender e comprar ações, ontem se viu que essa AI está acelerando as perdas do mercado. Essa AI que essas instituições usam são semelhantes, não são diversificadas como seriam os humanos.

Em resumo, não são humanos que estão comprando ou vendendo ações diretamente, eles estão deixando isso para "robôs", programas de computador.

E o pior que os sites de empresas que fazem a gestão dessa AI (chamadas robo-advisers) caíram com a forte demanda para explicação e deixaram os clientes sem resposta.

Vejam relato da Bloomberg sobre AI no mercado financeiro.

Robots in Finance Bring New Risks to Stability, Regulators Warn


Banks and hedge funds that rely on artificial intelligence threaten to inject risks into the financial system that could exacerbate a future crisis, according to global regulators.
The financial industry’s rush to adopt AI raises the potential that firms will become overly dependent on technologies that herd them toward the same view of risks and could “amplify financial shocks,” according to a study published on Wednesday by the Financial Stability Board, a panel of regulators that includes the U.S. Federal Reserveand European Central Bank.
“AI and machine learning applications show substantial promise if their specific risks are properly managed,” the FSB said in a report that called for additional monitoring and testing of robotic technologies designed to lessen human involvement. “Taken as a group, universal banks’ vulnerability to systemic shocks may grow if they increasingly depend on similar algorithms or data streams.”
The FSB, headed by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, said that many of the technologies are being designed and tested in a period of low volatility in financial markets, and, as a result, “may not suggest optimal actions in a significant economic downturn or in a financial crisis.”
Artificial intelligence is a branch of computer science that aims to imbue machines with aspects of reasoning. The term now includes machine learning, which is the ability for computers to learn by ingesting data, and natural language processing -- the ability to read or produce text.
The world’s biggest banks and hedge funds are embracing the tools, driven by the availability of major new sources of data that can be analyzed quickly with computer power and at the same time a desire to cut costs and employment levels. Management consultant Opimas LLC estimated in March that AI would result in a cut of 230,000 workers at financial firms worldwide by 2025, with the hardest hit being 90,000 people in asset management.
Firms are using AI and machine learning to assess the credit quality of borrowers, price insurance contracts, automate interactions with clients and estimate the risk of trading positions, the FSB said. Hedge funds relying purely on AI and machine learning technologies are growing rapidly and have about $10 billion in assets under management, the FSB said, citing an estimate from a unnamed financial firm.
The FSB said technology’s potential to cut costs and drive new profits is even creating an “arms race” among firms to demonstrate their use of AI.
In the process, firms may be relying on a small number of third-party technological developers and services. If those were to fail, the effect would ripple across the wider financial system and contribute to major disruptions at large financial firms at the same time.
“These risks may become more important in the future if AI and machine learning are used for ‘mission-critical’ applications of financial institutions,” the FSB said. “Moreover, advanced optimization techniques and predictable patterns in the behavior of automated trading strategies could be used by insiders or by cyber-criminals to manipulate market prices.”

quarta-feira, 24 de janeiro de 2018

Nunca George Soros Gastou Tanto com Lobby


Inimigo em praticamente tudo que Trump faz, George Soros nunca gastou tanto em lobby do que no primeiro ano do governo Trump.

Soros usa sua organização "Open Society" para apoiar grupos pró-imigração, pró-aborto, pró-eutanásia, pró-gays, contra gastos de defesa, e outros que apoiam políticas e países de esquerda. Ele é ligado umbilicalmente ao Partido Democrata dos EUA, que faz opinião severa a Trump, gasta muito em apoio aos democratas. Eles fazem que que chamam de "resistência" a Trump.

Além disso, Soros é húngaro e a Hungria não anda gostando das interferências dele, e isso fez Soros gastar muito dinheiro em lobby.

Vejam relato do Free Bacon

George Soros Spent Record Amount Lobbying During Trump’s First Year

Open Society Policy Center poured $16.2 million into lobbying efforts in 2017


Liberal billionaire George Soros spent more on lobbying during President Donald Trump's first year in office than he has in any previous year, disclosure forms show.
The Open Society Policy Center, a D.C.-based 501 (c)(4) nonprofit that focuses on domestic and international advocacy efforts and is a separate entity from Soros's Open Society Foundations, poured $16.2 million into lobbying throughout the entirety of 2017.
Soros's group reported spending $4.6 million during the first half of 2017 on its lobbying efforts. During the third quarter, Soros added $1.25 million to the total. Most of the lobbying expenditures—$10.3 million—were spent during the fourth quarter, which spans from October 1 to December 31.
Soros ramped up his efforts as the year progressed by pushing funds toward issues that have been seen as a direct attack on the deep-pocketed financier, such as Hungary's Bill on Foreign Funded Organizations (LexNGO), a crackdown on foreign-funded organizations in that country.
Hungary's parliament approved the law that targets foreign-funded NGOs in June of last year, saying they could "threaten the country's political and economic interests and interfere with the functioning of its institutions."
While the legislation does not mention Soros, who was born in Hungary and has given money to a number of NGOs in the country, by name, Hungarian politicians have said that they wanted to "sweep out" organizations tied to the financier, Bloomberg reported.
Soros also pushed funds to lobby on the Restricted First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017, the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2018, and the Preventing Preemptive War in North Korea Act of 2017, among others, according to the disclosure forms.  The Open Society Policy Center lobbied the Senate, House of Representatives, State Department, National Security Council, and the Department of Defense last year.
"We make different grants each year depending on what is happening in Congress and there was a lot going in 2017: Protecting immigrants and refugees, preserving fairness in the tax code, advocating for criminal justice reform, pressing for disaster relief for Puerto Rico, and promoting a progressive U.S. foreign policy," said Jonathan Kaplan, a spokesman for the Open Society Policy Center.
Between 2002 and 2012, the policy center reported spending a total of $19,120,000 lobbying Congress and agencies, an average of $1.9 million on lobbying per year. The most Soros had spent on lobbying prior to last year was $12.4 million in 2014.
The group's disclosure forms also show that Soros has recruited the help of a number of outside lobbying shops in the past including Orion Strategies, the Mitchell Firm, and Glover Park Group, all D.C.-based firms, on top of its three in-house lobbyists.
The Open Society Policy Center hauled in $17 million in contributions in 2015, according to the group's most recent tax forms. During that year, one of the group's largest grant disbursements went to the Advocacy Fund, an organization that helps to navigate "lobbying, political and funding rules to win campaigns for social change," in the amount of $800,000.
The Advocacy Fund is involved with Demos, a New York-based public policy organization whose board of directors is chaired by Amelia Warren Tyagi, the daughter of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.). Indivisible, one of the most prominent anti-Trump groups today, is also listed under the Advocacy Fund's projects.
Gara LaMarche, who sat on the board of directors of the policy center during the time covered by its most recent tax forms, and is still a member of its board, is now the president of the Democracy Alliance, a secretive donor club where Soros is a founding partner. The alliance consists of wealthy liberals who each vow to steer hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding to progressive groups.
The Free Beacon attended the group's secretive fall investment conference held last November at the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, Calif. and obtained confidential documents at the retreat where the group was planning its next steps in the "resistance."
Soros, along with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), headlined the event.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.), a potential Democratic presidential hopeful for 2020, introduced Soros with a "special videotaped message." Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) also delivered a video message to the group.  Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D.) and Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D., Minn.), who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), were in attendance.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.), not listed on the agenda, was also spotted at the resort.
David Brock, the former conservative investigative journalist turned Clinton loyalist and founder of Media Matters for America, was also not listed in the agenda but was present at the gathering.
Brock held his own donor conference at the Turnberry Isle Miami resort in Aventura, Fla., last January where he huddled with more than 100 liberal donors to map out how they would "kick Donald Trump's ass."
The Free Beacon obtained the private and confidential memo Brock handed out to donors at the event outlining his four-year agenda to attack Trump and Republicans using Media Matters, American Bridge, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, and Shareblue.

quinta-feira, 4 de janeiro de 2018

Reforma Tributária de Trump: 40 Grandes Empresas Dão $$ aos seus Trabalhadores


Pois é, a reforma tributária de Trump que diminuiu em muito os impostos sobre as empresas fez com que elas distribuíssem dinheiro aos seus funcionários.

No Brasil, isso seria inimaginável. O Estado está falido há décadas, grande parte da população depende do Estado para sobreviver e acho até que as empresas brasileiras não repetiriam o que fizeram as americanas.

Vejam a lista de empresas que deram muito $$ aos seus trabalhadores nos EUA:

AT&T — $1,000 bonuses to 200,000 employees, and a $1 billion increase in capital expenditures.
AAON — $1,000 bonus checks to 2,000 employees
AccuWeather – year-end bonuses to all employees. (Approx. 450 – 500 employees)
Aflac – increase 401(k) match from 50% to 100% on the first 4% of compensation plus one-time $500 contribution to every employee’s 401(k); $250 million increase in overall U.S. investment.
American Airlines — $1,000 bonuses for every employee, excluding officers. The bonuses will total $130 million. AA had 127,600 employees as of Sept. 2017.
American Bank – $1,000 bonuses for 60 employees
American Savings Bank – $1,000 bonuses to 1,150 employees; base wage increase from $12.21 to $15.25
Americacollect – $300 – $500 bonuses for 250 employees
Aquesta Financial Holdings — $1,000 bonuses to 95 employees; base wage hike to $15 per hour
Associated Bank – $500 employee bonuses; base wage will rise from $10 to $15 per hour
Bank of America — $1,000 bonuses to 145,000 U.S. employees
Bank of Hawaii – $1,000 bonuses to 2,074 employees; base wage increase from $12 to $15
Bank of the Ozarks – Bonuses of up to $1,200 for 2,300 employees
BB&T – $1,200 bonuses for 27,000 employees; base wage will rise from $12 to $15 per hour; $100 million in charitable donations
Boeing — $100 million in charitable donations; $100 million for workforce development; $100 million for infrastructure and facilities
Canary LLC – due to tax reform, the company will hire more employees and increase capital spending.
Central Pacific Bank – all 850 employees will receive $1,000 bonuses; base wage will rise from $12 to $15.25
Citizens Financial Group — $1,000 bonuses for 12,500 employees and $10 million for charitable donations
Colling Pest Solutions – details on benefits to be announced shortly
Comcast — $1,000 bonuses to 100,000 employees; at least $50 billion investment in infrastructure in next five years
Comerica Bank — $1,000 to 4,500 non-officer employees; base wage increase to $15 per hour
Commerce Bank – 3,450 employees will receive bonuses — $1,000 for full time employees and $250 for part time employees; $25 million in charitable donations
Community Trust Bancorp — $1,000 bonuses for full time employees and $500 bonuses for part-time employees (exact number receiving bonus unknown at this time)
Copperleaf Assisted Living – $200 – $600 bonuses for 175 employees
Cornerstone Holdings – details on benefits to be announced shortly
Dayton T. Brown Inc. (engineering/testing company) — $400 bonuses for each of the 210 employees
Delaware Supermarkets Inc. — $150 extra bonuses to 1,000 non-management personnel.
Eagle Ridge Ranch – details on benefits to be announced shortly
Elite Roofing Systems – details on benefits to be announced shortly
Elite Clinical Trials – details on benefits to be announced shortly
Express Employment Professionals — $2,000 bonuses to more than 200 non-executive employees
Fifth Third Bancorp – $1,000 bonuses for 13,500 employees; base wage will rise to $15
First Hawaiian Bank – $1,500 bonuses to 2,264 employees; base wage increase to $15
First Horizon National Corp. – $1,000 bonuses to 4,000 employees
Fort Ranch – details on benefits to be announced shortly
Gardner Company – details on benefits to be announced shortly
Gate City Bank — $1,000 hand-delivered bonus checks to 538 non-management personnel; $500,000 higher charitable giving; $500,000 worth of free home appraisals.
Get Found First – details on benefits to be announced shortly
INB Bank — $500 bonuses to 200 employees. The bonuses will exclude the Senior Management Team. The base wage will be raised to $15 per hour
Kansas City Southern — $1,000 bonuses. (Exact number receiving bonus unknown at this time; the company employs 6,485)
Kauai Cattle LLC – details on benefits to be announced shortly
Melaleuca – all 2,000 employees will receive a $100 bonus for each year they have worked at the company
Move It Or Lose It Moving LLC – details on benefits to be announced shortly
National Bank Holdings Corporation – $1,000 bonuses for employees making less than $50,000 (exact number receiving bonus unknown at this time)
Nationwide Insurance — $1,000 bonuses to 29,000 employees; increased 401(k) matching contributions for 33,000 employees
Natural Guardian – details on benefits to be announced shortly
Navient – 98% of Navient’s 6,700 employees will receive a $1,000 bonus (approx. 6,566 bonus-eligible employees)
Nelnet — $1,000 bonuses for 4,100 employees
OceanFirst Financial Corp. – base wage increase to $15 per hour
Ohnward Bancshares — $1,000 bonuses for all 260 employees
Pinnacle Bank — $1,000 bonuses for 1,007 employees
Regions Financial Corporation – base wage increase to $15 per hour; $40 million in charitable donations; $100 million in capital expenditures
Resident Construction LLC – details on benefits to be announced shortly
Riverbend Management, Inc. – details on benefits to be announced shortly
Riverbend Ranch – details on benefits to be announced shortly
Rush Enterprises – $1,000 bonuses for all 6,600 employees
Sinclair Broadcast Group — $1,000 bonuses for 9,000 employees
Smith Chevrolet – details on benefits to be announced shortly
Smith Honda – details on benefits to be announced shortly
Smith RV – details on benefits to be announced shortly
Southwest Airlines — $1,000 bonuses for all 55,000 employees; $5 million additional charitable donations
Steel Design LLC – details on benefits to be announced shortlydetails coming
Stifel Financial Corporation – $1,500 bonuses for 7,000 employees
TCF Financial Corporation — $1,000 bonuses for full time employees; $500 bonuses for part time employees (exact number receiving bonus unknown at this time);
The Flood Insurance Agency — $1,000 bonuses for 17 full time employees
Territorial Savings Bank — $1,000 bonuses to 247 employees; base wage hike from $11.25 to $15.00 per hour
Total System Services — $1,000 bonuses for 11,500 employees
Turning Point Brands, Inc. — $1,000 bonuses for 107 employees
Unity Bank – all 200 non-executive employees will receive a $750 bonus
U.S. Bancorp – $1,000 bonuses for 60,000 employees; base wage hike to $15 per hour; $150 million charitable contribution
Willow Creek Woodworks – details on benefits to be announced shortly
Wells Fargo – raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over next three years

sábado, 30 de dezembro de 2017

A Pior Previsão Econômica de 2017.



Esse ano, eu tive a graça de publicar um livro sobre previsões feitas por economistas, pela editora Prismas. O livro se chama "Perspectivas do Comércio Exterior do Brasil em um Mundo Caótico e sem Vantagem Comparativa".



Apesar de parecer ter foco no comércio exterior do Brasil, o tema do livro são as perspectivas feitas por economistas para o comércio global.

Sobre isso, a porta-voz do presidente Trump, Sarah Sanders, selecionou a pior previsão para o ano de 2017. A coroa de lixo vai para Paul Krugman que previu em novembro de 2016 que a economia americana com Trump seria um desastre.

Bom, ela tem toda razão.

E eu diria mais, durante as eleições, como eu mostro no meu livro, as instituições internacionais em geral faziam coro com a perspectiva de Krugman, mas assim que Trump ganhou logo disseram que ele teria sucesso. No meu livro, eu mostro as posições da OCDE e do FMI sobre o que Trump pretendia fazer na economia americana.

Se se interessarem pelo tema, comprem meu livro, seria um prazer autografá-lo para vocês.


quarta-feira, 20 de dezembro de 2017

74 Questões Respondidas sobre Bitcoin


Li hoje 74 perguntas respondidas sobre Bitcoin, vale à pena lê-las para entender o que seria esse negócio de Bitcoin.

Essas respostas tomam o ponto de vista de que esse negócio não é uma fraude. Eu não arriscaria nisso. Em todo caso, vale à pena ler.

A fonte é o site ZeroHedge, copio as primeiras 25 perguntas respondidas abaixo, leiam o resto no site Zero Hedge:

1. What the hell is it? In the most general sense, bitcoin is software that forms a decentralized, peer-to-peer payment system with no central authority like the Federal Reserve or U.S. Treasury. It’s fair to call it a digital currency or cryptocurrency, but at the moment, most investors aren’t really using it as currency to pay for things. Instead, they’re using it as a speculative investment to buy in the hope of turning a profit. Maybe a big profit. (And maybe a big loss).
2. What backs or supports it? Bitcoin runs on something called blockchain, which is a software system often described as an immutable digital “ledger.” It resides on thousands of computers, all over the world, maintained by a mix of ordinary people and more sophisticated computer experts, known collectively as miners. Yahoo Finance’s Jared Blikre dabbles as a bitcoin miner, running mining software in the background on his laptop. Here’s how much bitcoin he has generated so far: 0.000000071589. At the current rate, it would take him about 1,200 years to mine one complete bitcoin. That gives you a sense of how complex it is to mine bitcoin, and how much processing power it takes: These computerized mining rigs throw off so much energy that they can heat your home.
All bitcoin transactions are permanently recorded by miners, who upload bundles of transactions, or “blocks,” to the chain, maintained on all those computers. Blockchain as a technology has become popular among banks and other big financial institutions, who want to use it to settle payments on their back-end systems. But they’re mostly interested in blockchain without bitcoin.
3. Who’s running the show? Bitcoin is decentralized, which means there isn’t one arbiter, central party or institution in charge. Blocks of transactions are validated on the blockchain network through computing “consensus,” which is a feature of the software. Bitcoin was created by someone in 2009 using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, but it isn’t known who that was, and that person or group doesn’t have control over bitcoin today.
4. What is there to value? The price of bitcoin fluctuates based on buying and selling, just like a stock, but there’s a ton of debate over what the price represents. In theory, the value of bitcoin should reflect investors’ faith in bitcoin as a technology. But in reality, investors mostly see bitcoin as a commodity because of its finite supply. Under Satoshi’s blueprint, the total supply of bitcoin will eventually be capped at 21 million coins. At the moment, 16.7 million bitcoins have been created. A fractional amount of new coins gets created every time a miner uploads a block to the blockchain, which is a reward for mining.
5. Is this a scam? It’s not a scam, in the sense of somebody marketing a bogus product. Bitcoin is a legitimate technology. The question is how useful and valuable it will become.
6. Is there actually a physical coin called bitcoin? No. You can’t touch a bitcoin because it’s essentially software. You may have seen images of gold coins with a “?” on them. Those are souvenirs that can’t be converted into actual bitcoin. But they’re better for illustrating news stories than the streams of numbers and letters that resemble the actual blockchain.
7. Is it tangible like gold? Bitcoin has one big similarity to gold, in that some investors consider it a good store of value for financial wealth. You can take possession of your bitcoins — as some people do with gold — by downloading the string of digital codes that represents your holdings onto a gizmo that looks like a flash drive. But you can’t run your fingers through your bitcoin the way you might with a pile of gold doubloons, and bitcoin certainly isn’t pleasingly shiny.
8. Is value completely determined by the free market? For the most part, yes. There’s a known and limited supply of bitcoin, so when demand goes up, so does the price. Technical innovation also contributes to bitcoin’s value. It was a novelty when first created in 2009, and the market has determined (for now) that it’s an invention that’s worth something.
9. How can something that does not exist in the material world have a monetary value? Bitcoin does actually exist in the material world, the same way an operating system for your phone or computer exists in the material world. Remember, it’s essentially software, and it’s very clear that certain types of software have value because of what they allow us to do.
10. If it’s virtual, can’t people make duplicates? Yes, but that’s not a problem. All bitcoin transactions are stored on that public ledger, the blockchain. You can copy the blockchain, but it’s just a record. So you wouldn’t be changing the distribution of bitcoin. To process new transactions in bitcoin, miners with powerful computers solve complex problems that add the transactions in a block to the blockchain. This is called “proof of work” and is one of the core features of most cryptocurrencies. Multiple miners verify the work, which prevents fraud.
11. Is this a legal tender? Not officially yet in the United States. “Legal tender” means the laws of a state or nation require any creditor to accept the currency toward payment of a debt. In the United States, for instance, merchants must accept the U.S. dollar, which makes it legal tender. The U.S. government allows transactions in bitcoin, but doesn’t require every nail salon, car dealership or restaurant to accept it. They do have to accept dollars. Meanwhile, Japan and Australia, among other countries, have officially recognized bitcoin as legal currency. 
12. What is the collateral behind bitcoin? Nothing! The bitcoin blockchain records the entire transaction history of all bitcoin, which is validated through proof of work. That’s not collateral, however. There’s no other tangible asset backing bitcoin, the way a car serves as collateral for a car loan or a building serves as collateral for a commercial property loan.
13. Who keeps track of each bitcoin? All of the miners who maintain the system.
14. How do you buy and sell it? There are a number of easy-to-use exchanges now where you can buy bitcoin using money transferred from a bank account, and in some cases by charging a credit card. The most popular mainstream option is Coinbase, which now has more than 13 million customers. Kraken is another one. Here’s our full explainer on how to buy bitcoin.
15. What are you actually buying? You’re buying a digital “key,” which is a string of numbers and letters that gives you a unique claim on the blockchain supporting bitcoin. You can transfer this asset to others for whatever the market price of bitcoin is, minus transaction fees.
16. Can they be purchased in a regular brokerage account? Traditional brokerages such as Vanguard, Fidelity and Schwab don’t yet offer the ability to purchase bitcoin directly. But there are securities linked to the value of bitcoin, such Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC), which you can buy through a traditional brokerage. That doesn’t make them a safer investment than bitcoin. Most, in fact, are highly volatile, just like the coin, and they don’t necessarily track the price of bitcoin perfectly.
17. How much money do you need to get started? Not much. Coinbase lets you purchase as little as $1 of bitcoin, ethereum or litecoin, for instance.
18. Can bitcoin be purchased in fractions? Yep. One bitcoin is divisible down to 8 decimal points, or 0.00000001 bitcoin. That’s the equivalent of one one-hundred-millionth of a coin. That unit is known as a satoshi, in honor of the pseudonymous founder of bitcoin. If one bitcoin is worth $15,000, the value of a satoshi would be .015 cents.
19. Can it be traced back to you? Yes. Anyone who buys or sells bitcoin on an exchange such as Coinbase must provide their personal information to that exchange. If law-enforcement agencies or the IRS need to know something about you, the exchange will have to provide the info under the same laws that govern banks or brokerages. But your personal info does not become part of the blockchain and is not visible to miners maintaining the blockchain.
If you trade bitcoin privately with someone else in a peer-to-peer transaction, that person may know something about you, but nobody else would see the transaction. And if you’re a shady character aiming to launder bitcoin, there’s a way, called “bitcoin mixing.” Multiple bitcoin owners send their bitcoins to a service known as a mixer, which pools bitcoin from multiple sources, mixes them up, and redistributes them to the original owners in the amount they contributed (minus a fee, needless to say). This is risky and assumes the mixer doesn’t run off with your coin.
20. Where is my money going when I buy a crypto? When you buy bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, somebody is selling it to you — so most of the money goes to the seller. Exchanges also charge fees for conducting transactions, which can get very high. Bitcoin miners also earn transaction fees for their role in maintaining the network. Those tend to be tiny.
21. Are bitcoins real money? And can I cash them in whenever I want? Bitcoin has value that can be converted into ordinary currency, or used to make purchases from sellers that accept bitcoin. So in that sense, it’s real money, and it will remain real money as long as there’s a market with people willing to buy it. To “cash in” bitcoin, you need to sell it to somebody, in exchange for dollars or some other currency. Exchanges that handle such transactions have experienced frequent outages that prevent some people from accessing their accounts or executing a trade for a period of time, especially when are there large movements in the price of bitcoin. So don’t assume you’ll be able to sell any time you want.  
22. What is the value based on, besides scarcity? What buyers and sellers think bitcoin is worth. In other words, a lot of psychology.
23. How are they stolen? The bitcoin blockchain itself is very secure, but bitcoins can be stolen from an account if thieves are able to log into your account and send the bitcoin to another account they control. Once bitcoin is transferred, it can’t be recovered. Thieves typically break into other people’s accounts by stealing logon and password info. That makes it extremely important to use all possible measures to safeguard a bitcoin account, including two-factor authentication with a mobile phone. You also have a “private key,” which is a third layer of security that you might need at some point, if there are questions about who’s logging into your account. This key is typically a string of keyboard characters that should be stored where it can’t be lost or stolen or accessed through the internet.
24. How does bitcoin generate revenue? Miners earn money–paid in bitcoin–for creating bitcoin, which helps cover the cost of time and computer power that the process requires. They also earn small transaction fees from bitcoin users. Bitcoin itself doesn’t generate revenue. It’s best thought of as a commodity, similar to gold, that has a market price but doesn’t generate economic activity, the way a business does. When the value goes up, bitcoin can create profits. But when the value goes down, it can also create losses.
25. Is there value in this currency outside of black market transactions and ransoms? Yes. Since bitcoin transfers can’t be traced, bitcoin is often used to purchase drugs or stolen gods or finance other types of criminal activity. But it also has legitimate uses, and can be used as a form of payment with anybody who accepts it. Some investors consider bitcoin to be a store of value–an asset that has a long shelf life and whose value generally goes up over time. While that may be the trend of the last several years, however, we still can’t be sure bitcoin will hold its value long-term.