Linden Lab® Becomes Virtual (Real?) Bank

  • It needs to have a strong user base — several millions.
  • It needs to be regulated.
  • It has to be easy to register for it (ie. creating an account should be simple), and have optional validation for extra trust.
  • Sending money to other users should be as easy as possible.
  • It should be easy to “upload” and “download” money in several currencies, using multiple systems (Visa, direct debit, bank transfers, etc.).
  • And ideally it should use a “neutral” currency for worldwide usage, so that transactions can agree on a “virtual currency” and handle fluctuations of the many currencies locally. But users sending money to each other should simply use a fixed “virtual currency” to facilitate the exchange.
  • Interfacing with websites should be easy.
  • There should be a level of “pseudonymity” associated with your account — similar to eBay.
  • The transactions should be outside the reach of governments 😉


Now, as many of you know, I have never read Snow Crash. On the other hand, I have read many other books from Neal Stephenson, and one of them, Cryptonomicon, written on the same year as Linden Lab was created, surprisingly describes in quite some detail how such a system could be created. Neal still bases the “virtual currency” on gold, which is an outdated concept, but his ideas are at least — interesting.

So interesting, in fact, that the company who turned one of Neal’s books into reality is now turning Necronomicon into reality as well!

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