Digital Currency

Daniel C. dcrookston at gmail.com
Mon Jul 2 16:39:36 MDT 2007


On 7/2/07, Michael L Torrie <torriem at chem.byu.edu> wrote:
> Not going to ever happen, in my opinion.  The current system works very
> well (Visa, Bank card networks), and the idea of allowing anonymous
> digital transactions is not something that any country in the world is
> keen to allow these days.

It doesn't work very well at all if your currency exists only in a
game, but is backed up by something (like gold) in the real world.
EverQuest's economy is bigger per capita than the economy of China.
Second Life has a direct in-game to real-life exchange rate, but it's
not backed by anything other than the market for Second Life, which
could potentially evaporate at any time.

Second, political feasibility doesn't seem to be a concern to me
because countries don't have to agree with it or allow it for it to
happen.  Currency can be issued by anyone.  (See Second Life.)  If I
were to print up a bunch of slips of paper that say "Bank of Dan,
Value 10 Pounds Premium Bacon", nobody would actually *use* them
(because who's Dan and how do I know I can trust him?) and because
most people don't really want bacon, except occasionally for
breakfast.

However, if Blizzard were to buy up ten thousand troy ounces of pure
gold, launch a new MMO that was designed to have a stable economy, and
then back up the in-game currency with real-life gold, I'd be willing
to bet that Blizz Bucks could become a world-wide currency overnight,
with exchange rates to other currencies (possibly only exchangeable
through Blizz itself, but whatever) based on the current price of
gold.

So that's why I'm thinking about this.

Dan



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