The rise of virtual currencies

Posted in banks, business, digital, economics, emerging issues, games by thenextwavefutures on 20 June, 2007

I blogged recently about the prospect that Visa could move towards supporting the virtual currencies in virtual worlds, or perhaps even create a new currency to support non-monetary exchanges. Dave Birch, who knows far more than I do about this subject, and who blogs at the Digital Money Forum, has just written a long, informative, and amusing post on this subject. There’s a flavour if you click on “the rest of this post”.

Something you may not have noticed, but there was another milestone passed on the road to the future of banking a few weeks ago, when Project Entropia auctioned banking licences for its virtual world. In fact there were five licences sold, with the highest bid at $99,900 going to “Yuri”, an undoubtedly fit and proper avatar. Financial services follow the money, even when it is virtual.

It’s also worth following Dave’s link to the Financial Times story about Eve Online, if only for this quote from former player and games developer Trey Ratcliff:

“Eve seemed like a playground for totally unfettered hardcore capitalism, with none of our justice systems or controlling bodies.”


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