OMC spending up, users down in 2012

The volume of transactions using the multi-grid OMC currency from Virwox rose by 36 percent in 2012 compared to 2011, and the total amount of the OMC in circulation rose by 26 percent.

However, the number of avatars using the multi-grid OMC currency dropped dramatically in 2012. During the month of January, 1,457 users made OMC transactions. In December, the number of active users dropped to less than half of that — to just 629 avatars.

Active 30-day users of the OMC currency. (Data from Virwox.)

The total number of regions where the OMC currency is accepted fell from 7,109 to just 414 over the course of the year, but the number of grids rose from 32 to 47. However, the grid totals reported on the OMC statistics page include a number of grids that are not yet active, or that have long since closed. A more accurate count of grids where the OMC currency is accepted is 24.

Transaction volumes continued to change dramatically month-to-month, with a low of $178 and a high of $1,064 in monthly user-to-user transactions — or 48,360 to 288,436 in OMC.

Monthly transactions between users of the OMC currency. (Data from Virwox.)

There was a total of $6,596 in user-to-user transactions in 2012, up from $4,851 in 2011. In addition, the total amount of OMC in circulation has also increased, from 677,564 OMC (US $2,500) at the end 2011, to 852,589 OMC (US $3,146) at the end of 2012.

The drop in users combined with an increase in total transactions indicates that people are getting more comfortable with the currency, and using it for more purchases.

However, the drop in total user and grid numbers is a serious problem, and could indicate a lack of marketing or support on the part of Virwox.

The OMC is not a significant revenue source for Virwox. In 2012 alone, the company traded over 9.6 billion Linden dollars (US$ 38 million).


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Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China. Follow me on Twitter @MariaKorolov.

3 Responses

  1. Ener Hax says:

    what else could this mean?

    are people using other currency, like real money? or is the selection of freebies reducing the need to but things? or are more people making their own things? a combination of all of these?

    what about grids like Kitely and InWorldz with their own currency – are more people calling those home?

    • Yes, judging by the traffic numbers, commercial grids like InWorldz, and others with their own currency are seeing growth. However, these worlds do not release economy numbers, so I don’t know if the number of transactions is up.

      It would be great if the commercial grids started to release the kind of that Virwox does, and Second Life used to do — it would be great for merchants, for example, deciding which grids to focus their attention on.

      PayPal and freebies (like Linda Kellie, OpenSim Creations, your site) also reduce a little bit the need for OSC transactions.

  2.' Joe Nickence says:

    I feel that the OMC is still a fluctuating currency that will take some time and influence to overtake the value that the L$ has. There are too many well-to-do “Linden-ares”, established businesses, and numerous currency exchanges that simply don’t see the need to trade in L$ for OMC.