What is Bitcoin? (part I)

Every semester, I take my students from Columbia College to Chicago Federal Bank’s Money Museum.  It’s a great experience for the students, and I also learn something new with every visit.  On our last visit, I pulled one of the PhDs aside (they all possess a doctorate degree in Economics) and asked, “what do you think about bitcoin?”  The presenter gave me a one sentence answer – it’s a safe haven for illicit traders.  Probably a little too harsh answer, so I did my own research.

  • What is bitcoin?  It’s a virtual currency created by an unknown Japanese programmer (only his pseudonym is known).  It’s not associated with any country or government, making it truly universal.
  • How does it work?  Every user has a “wallet” with a unique identifier.  While all transactions are recorded, user ID is kept anonymous (OK, so that supports illicit trade comment).
  • How  do I get bitcoins?  Various exchange sites / services let you buy and sell for cash.  You can also mine them (honestly I don’t get this concept).

To be continued…

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EBONY Wealth Challenge Wrap-up, Part 1

As published in the most recent issue paraphrased….

  1. Get your mind right:  Wealth begins in the mind and ends in the purse.  If you want to earn more, you must learn more.
  2. Lower your bills:  Renegotiate the terms for your car note, cable bills, utilities and cellphone bills.  Be pleasant – everything’s negotiable.
  3. Automate:  Pay your bills automatically each month by setting up electronic withdrawals to eliminate late fees, avoid credit score issues and reduce postage costs.  And even if you are late, negotiate elimination of late fees.

To be continued…

Which Seeking Alpha blurb on the state of global economy concern you the most?

Mine – 3rd paragraph below…  Perhaps little rise in the rate and tightening on liquidity is not a bad thing however…

 

Brent crude fell for a ninth straight session this morning following weak gasoline demand in the U.S. The drop marks its longest losing streak in four years, falling 14 cents to $108.14 a barrel at 3:45 GMT. U.S. crude tumbled for a tenth consecutive session, down 48 cents belowWednesday’s close at $101.81 a barrel. The front-month price is on track to display its longest stretch of losses since July 1984.

Tensions are mounting in the Middle East, after Gaza militants fired new M-302 rockets deeper into Israel, armed with a range of 93 miles. Israel has ramped up its air strike campaign as a result, targeting 486 militant positions including rocket-launching sites and smuggling tunnels. The newly acquired rockets put about two thirds of Israel’s 8M people into Gaza’s range of fire, increasing pressure to neutralize any threats.

The Fed has agreed to end its bond-buying program in October. The new definitive closing date marks the end of the quantitative easing and controversial central-banking approach. The plan will decrease bond purchases in three increments until October, when the last $15B reduction is scheduled.

The results of Indonesia’s presidential election will remain uncertain for at least ten days, as 130M votes still need to be hand-counted. Presidential candidates Widodo and Subianto have both claimed victory in preliminary tallies. Indonesian stocks soared as much as 2.8% in early trading after foreign investors bought $263M worth of stock – nearly four times the daily average of foreign buying. The rupiah also gained, hitting a two-month high against the dollar.

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