How to create your own financial crisis

Multibanco in SL
[Update 2013/05/07 6 PM GMT — Linden Lab has just announced the launch of the Linden Dollar (L$) Authorized Reseller Program]

Software features turn into products

Nine years ago, Linden Lab revealed a series of new features for Second Life® which would dramatically change the way we think and interact with this virtual world. One was user-generated animations — before that, we were all stuck with a handful of ugly or hilarious Linden animations and couldn’t change them (but there were some creative attempts to mix and match them with some entertaining results).

Another was XML-RPC. This was the first “instantaneous” way of communicating with external Web servers from an in-world object, and getting a response almost immediately (previously, you could only communicate via email). Although this was a very geeky piece of technology, it meant that suddenly you could interface Second Life to pretty much anything out there which could run on a Web server.

Two applications became grid-wide famous. The first was the Gaming Open Market: it was the first currency exchange for Second Life (and several other popular virtual worlds and games). The idea was simple: people having L$ in excess could place them for sale on GOM, and whoever was interested in getting those L$, would announce a price in US$ for those L$. Of course everything was anonymous; GOM would just act as an electronic mediator, exchanging L$ between seller and buyer inside Second Life, and exchanging US$ between buyer and seller outside of it.

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