Fascinating. As reported by Mark Wallace at Walkerings, Anshe Chung (a real estate entrepeneur in Second Life) is considering (or threatening, depending on how you take her annoucement) to introduce a competing currency to the Linden dollar; the Anshe$. I agree 100% with Mark Wallace here; this is a really, really interesting development, and could actually work if it got enough traction. Anshe is a huge economic force in SL, all by herself, and could conceivably have enough “internal traction” to make this work on her own. By that, I mean that she’s considering changing her rental fees to be in US$ or Anshe$ only…no longer accepting Linden$. With the number of renters she has, that automatically gives her currency value; almost as if Target or Wal-Mart not only had gift cards, but ONLY accepted gift cards…suddenly, the cards have their own value.
Over time, other merchants might begin to accept Anshe$, and the race would be on. Anshe’s reasoning is purely economic; she has to hold large quantities of Linden$ right now, due to her constant land rental fees coming in, and the Linden$ has fallen almost 60% against the US$ in the past 18 months. She’s bleeding (virtual) cash…but she turns said virtual cash into US$100,000/year. The deterioration in the Linden$ hurts! Her hope is to halt that slide by breaking the explicit connection between her rental charges and the fees she pays in turn to Linden Labs…and it’s not very often that you’re able to watch as someone creates their own currency, is it?
I LOVE this stuff!