Lindens: No outside currency trading

Update (May 17): Linden Lab launches Authorized Reseller program, five exchanges now live. Linden Lab announcement is here. List of Authorized Resellers is here. The five exchanges currently allowed to sell Linden Dollars to users are  AnsheXBuildoVForEx IncVirWoX, and Zoha Islands. No third party exchanges are allowed to purchase Linden Dollars from users, however.

Update (May 16): Podex, AnsheX, DXexchange are down. Read full story here.

Update (May 15): VirWoX, Xchange4LS hint at good news. Austria’s VirWoX, one of the largest third-party Linden Dollar exchange, is in talks with Linden Lab and promises good news. “Linden Lab has approached us with a potential solution that would allow us to serve our customers within the bounds of the updated Second Life Terms of Service,” the company said. “We are in discussions with them and look forward to being able to share more information very soon.” Meanwhile, Germany’s Xchange4LS also promises to be back up and running soon. “Since the change in the ToS we have made a lot of thought how we can offer our services againwithout violating the ToS of Linden Labs,” the company announced today. “We have found a solution and are going to implement it.”

Update (May 15): DXexchange back to selling Lindens, Gyndex may follow. Read full story here.

Update (Tuesday, May 14): All Dutch exchanges have closed. The Gyndex, the second largest Dutch Linden dollar exchange, closed on Sunday night. “All other Dutch exchanges followed,” Gyndex founder and co-owner Bart Bockhoudt told Hypergrid Business. He added that Gyndex CEO Elzbieta Borowska had emailed Linden Lab for an explanation of what was going on, and got the following statement from the Lindens: “Yes, this applies to all exchanges. Buying or selling Linden dollars outside of the LindeX is now considered a violation of the Terms of Service. We are in the process of stopping these activities over the course of this week and hope to be done by Monday, May 13.”  As of today, 16 exchanges have shut down. AnsheXPodex, and Crossroads are still up.

Update (Tuesday, May 14): Mbkash has closedMBkash is also now closed. “We considered interpreting the Terms of Service as that we had 30 days to comply with the changes and take advantage of the time to inform our customers,” the exchange said in an announcement. “But recent events led us to believe that sanctions would fall. We fear that Linden Lab would penalize our clients, confiscating money purchased on our website… we will keep you informed if there is a change… Noting that 90 percent of our customers do not pay with a credit card, they cannot continue in Second Life… 80 percent of our turnover was achieved through micro-payment SMS, telephone, Internet bill payment, and prepaid cards.

Update (Monday, May 13): 14 exchanges now down. DXexchange shut down on Sunday as planned, as did Virtuatex. In addition, WoozKash shut down instead of risking Linden wrath by staying up for full 30 days. As of today, 14 exchanges have shut down. AnsheX, Podex, MBkash and Crossroads are still up.

Update: DXexchange no longer buying Lindens, will suspend all operations on Sunday. Linden Lab told the exchange to cease all exchange activities by Monday morning, San Francisco time, DXexchange CEO Sjoerd van Essen said in an announcement. “It is still our opinion that the TOS gives us a 30 days period after the first notification of the change to prepare us for the reduction of our right to exchange in Second Life. However we do realize that with blocking our avatars Linden Lab can disable our business within seconds. We also realize that we put our clients at risk to lose their Lindens in case we annoy Linden Lab.” Payments to escrow bank accounts will be refunded. In addition, DXexchange has already ceased buying Lindens, and disabled the credit card payment option.

Update: CrossWorlds to cease trading Lindens in 30 days. The Crossworlds virtual currency exchange announced today that they will cease trading in 30 days. “On May 7, 2013 we were sent notification by Linden Lab that they would no longer allow Third Party Exchanges to operate in Second Life,” the company said in its announcement. “As per the Second Life ToS we have 30 days to comply. We have contacted Linden Lab to clarify the problem and as of yet had NO reply. Therefore… we will operate until June 5,2013.” However, the exchange is wary of new customers — only existing users can sell their Linden dollars or buy Lindens with PayPal. New customers can buy Lindens with Bitcoin, however. It looks like Japan’s Exchange 24 has also ceased trading Lindens. The AnsheX exchange is still buying and selling Lindens, and has not posted any updates about future plans.

Update: Lindens delete list of third-party exchanges from Second Life Wiki. Late yesterday, a Linden Lab representative removed the contents of a page titled “Third Party Linden Dollar Exchanges” from the Second Life Wiki. A cached version of the page is currently available on Google. The article was already marked “obsolete but kept as a historical record” and some links were out of date.

Update: VirtualMind, vForEx, Virtuateq exchanges cease trading Lindens. “At the moment, we are not allowed to sell or buy Linden Dollars,” VirtualMind said in an announcement on its website. “We will give more information as soon as possible.” Fantasyland Estates subsidiary vForEX Inc. announced today that its activities have been “suspended until further notice.” Dutch exchange Virtuatex announced today that it will cease trading as of next Sunday. This brings total of exchange that stopped trading to eleven.

Update: Podex to continue trading Lindens. The Podex exchange will continue to trade Linden Dollars for the next 30 days until the new Terms of Service go into full effect, exchange spokesman Jacek Shuftan told Hypergrid Business. “We find it not fair to stop our activity in one day without prior notice to our customers,” he said. “Podex Exhange has built trust and reputation for many years and we are not going to destroy it in one day.”

Update: Mbcash, WoozKash, Cash Services to continue selling Lindens. Both MbcashWoozKash and Cash Services will continue selling Linden dollars, Mbcash CEO Johnmacloud Jun told Hypergrid Business, pointing to a clause in the Terms of Service requiring 30 days notice before changes go into effect. “We have written to Linden Lab … to reassure them about the safety of payments,” he added. “We have very little fraud and many system controls, plus we have always cooperated with them, and fraudulent payments have always been at our expense. Our customers are mainly French and German, and most do not pay with credit cards.” He said that Second Life would see a loss of usage as these customers are no longer able to trade Lindens. “We expect a chain reaction on the businesses in Second Life,” he said. “We told Linden Lab that we are ready to deactivate payment by credit card or PayPal,” he added, to avoid duplicating LindeX services directly. He added, however, that neither Mbcash nor WoozKash will buy Lindens from users.

Update: DXexchange still trading Lindens. “For now we will continue our activities as an exchange office,” company CEO Sjoerd Van Essen said in an announcement today. DXexchange has not received an official notice from Linden Lab asking them to cease operations, he said. However, the exchange is making one change because of the risk of unauthorized credit card transactions: there will be no rush sell orders until further notice. “This creates more time for Linden Lab to check sales orders and we can still block an order before we proceed to out-payment.”

Update: Total of eight exchanges have now ceased trading Lindens. TeleLinden has just ceased trading Lindens, the company announced today. “We are in contact with Linden Lab in order to find out how long this stop will last and how service providers like us can offer Linden Dollars to our customers in the foreseeable future.”

Update: Six more virtual currency exchanges have ceased trading Lindens. “We have asked Linden Lab for clarification,” VirWoX announced today. “Until we know what this all means, we have disabled deposits of Linden Dollars (the terminals will send them back), disabled the “Currency Shop” for Linden Dollar purchases, and disabled the withdrawal of Linden Dollars to Second Life.”  Moneyslex also announced that they are currently not offering services to Second Life residents, and waiting for more info, as did Bulido, and MoneyserversELDEXchange also announced that they’re looking for more information and, meanwhile, cannot accept any sell orders. Xchange4ls also announced that they have stopped purchasing Linden dollars, while waiting for clarification, just before their website went down. With First Meta Exchange, that brings the total number of exchanges that shut down trading to seven.

Linden Lab revised the Second Life Terms of Service today, prohibiting the use of third-party exchanges to trade the company’s virtual currency.

“To better protect Second Life users against fraud, the updated Terms of Service make it clear that trading of Linden dollars (L$) on exchanges other than the LindeX, Second Life’s official L$ exchange, is not authorized,” the company announced.

“The majority of Second Life users who purchase L$ do so through the Second Life Viewer by clicking on the “Buy L$” button,” the announcement said. “There will be no change to that function, as these orders are placed directly through the LindeX. Similarly, shopping on Marketplace will not be impacted.”

One third-party exchange has already announced that it will cease trading Lindens.

“Due to the recent changes in SecondLife’s Terms of Service we must suspend all Linden trading immediately,” First Meta Exchange said in an announcement today.

Fortunately, First Meta is a diversified exchange, and also offers trading in IMVU Credits, Toricredits, Frenzoo Gold Coins, FriendsHangout Tokens, and NuVera Notes.

The news may pose a bigger problem to exchanges like VirWoX, which bills itself as the “leading independent exchange for trading Linden Dollars.” In 2012, VirWoX reported that it traded 9.6 billion Linden Dollars, the equivalent of about US $38 million.

Lindex trading data

VirWoX is particularly important to European users of Second Life, since they are able to avoid cross-border fees by using the exchange.

Linden Lab did not say whether they are shutting down their API and taking other technological measures to block third-party currency trading, and, as of this writing, the company has not responded to requests for comment.

If VirWoX is forced to shut down their exchange as well, then it bodes ill for the VirWoX-backed Open Metaverse Currency, currently accepted on about 30 OpenSim grids.

However, VirWoX has done a very poor job marketing and supporting the OMC, and the currency has failed to find traction on the hypergrid. If VirWoX is forced to suspend operations, this may clear the way for other virtual currency providers to enter the market. As of this writing, VirWoX has not responded to requests for comment.

First move to a closed currency?

In a column last month, virtual currency law expert Alex Kadochnikov pointed out that new federal guidelines indicate that the government might be getting ready to treat Linden Dollars as if they were real currency, on the principle that “If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is a duck.”

In particular, the fact that Linden Dollars have real value outside of the Second Life environment distinguish them from pure “play money” such as the gold you earn by playing Mario Brothers or even the coins you can purchase for real money in FarmVille.

The final step required to make the Linden Dollar completely fictional — and save Linden Lab from having to register as a financial institution — could be if players were not able to redeem their currency at all.

So, for example, if I become a FarmVille millionaire, I can’t ask Zynga to send me a check for the entire amount.

If the Linden Dollar was completely fictional, and not redeemable for real money, it would not necessarily destroy in-world businesses — creators, event organizers, and other in-world merchants could switch to PayPal Payments or other online payment methods. It would, however, make purchases less convenient, and increase the cost of doing business, driving marginal companies out of the market.

More importantly, Linden Lab would lose the transaction revenues from these purchases, and, possibly, suffer from knock-on effects of lower land prices and fewer users.

maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

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.

  • Guest

    oh well: good bye SL business…my shops will be closed down soon. welcome to the freebie community…no sense to rent places anymore, or to have a sim..
    PAH…that was the last straw.
    ev

    • http://www.v-lifeonline.com/ Christopher Strachan

      lol i hear ya. good thing im starting up my os grid now xD goodbye SL. It was great knowing you for 1 year, oh and thnx for NOT giving me a 1 year rez day present.

      • http://minethere.blogspot.com/2012/10/region-creations.html Minethere

        I recently got an email from sl for a rezzday of an old alt i forgot which one and have not used it in quite a while-)) and dont know the login info for it.

        If they sent a gift it is lost in data somewhere.

        I thought this was very funny….lol

        • http://www.v-lifeonline.com/ Christopher Strachan

          it is funny and sad of how much of a “cheap skate” linden labs has become. To me they no longer come off being for the residence but for their own back pocket now. High priced sim rentals and now this, i wont be surprised if we see LL either pull something out of they’re butts to get us all back in SL or say goodbye to SL.

        • Savino van Meirhaeghe

          for 20% funny…

      • Savino van Meirhaeghe

        we go you missing linda-linden its craying now…

  • AviWorlds

    SL will lose all the communities that do not use paypal or buy lindens with credit cards plus everyone who is in business in SL for the money and now they cant exchange that outside Lindex.
    Most BRASILIANS do not use paypal or a credit card. The depend ONLY on BANK DEPOSITS. They buy lindens by depositing the money into the linden seller bank account.

    AviWorlds is offering that already and we will not close our currency markets down. All virtual exchange currencies are welcome to come to AviWorlds. Specially all the brazilians! BANK DEPOSIT available and all currency exchanges are allowed!

    • http://www.facebook.com/autumn.radtke Autumn Radtke

      @AviWorlds We’d be interested in discussing adding your currency to our exchange. Please contact First Meta if you are interested.

  • AviWorlds

    Forgot to mention that I see this as the WORST decision ever made by SL! They will lose a lot of people.

    My second opinion is that they did not decide to do this to make things safer. They are in desperate need to make money and by only allowing people to exchange in LL lindenx currency exchange market they are making sure that they will be making all the exchange FEES all by themselves! This is just another way of LL saying give me more money!
    You never close down a free market. That is the worst ever! Thanks LL!

    The Brasilian community is one of SLs biggest and by doing that LL has placed the final blow into itself. I for sure will be taking advantage of this bad decision and since more and more brasilians are joining AviWorlds I intend to take and consider full attention to this matter by creating a more desirable situation for the brasilians and whoever does not use credit cards and paypal.

    • Everest Piek

      QUOTE:

      5.3 There are other exchanges that are operated by third parties on which Linden dollars are exchanged.

      Third party exchanges are not authorized by Linden Lab and Buying or
      Selling Linden dollars on third party exchanges are not authorized
      transactions. Third party exchanges are wholly distinct from both the
      LindeX exchange and Linden Lab and they have no affiliation with Linden
      Lab. We do not endorse or otherwise guarantee the legitimacy of the
      Linden dollar transfers offered on them, and we are not liable for
      purchases of such Linden dollars. Buying or Selling Linden dollars
      anywhere other than the LindeX is done so solely at your own risk. If
      you Buy Linden dollars that are traced to unauthorized credit card
      activity or other fraudulent activity, we will recoup these Linden
      dollars from your Account. The only authorized exchange is the LindeX.
      QUOTE END
      so reading this someone at the lab AND on this blog here didnt do their homework properly…
      tsk tsk tsk…

      • http://edmundintokyo.wordpress.com/ Edmund in Tokyo

        Thanks Everest, so to be clear for people who are not native speakers of legalese, we reckon that:
        1) Third-party exchanges are still allowed to buy and sell Lindens (or at least, are not banned from doing it).
        2) Users are still allowed to buy and sell Lindens on third-party exchanges (or at least, are not banned from doing that).
        3) Linden Lab are just saying, “None of our business, don’t come crying to us if you lose your money”.

        ???

        • http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/ Maria Korolov

          Is that the old or updated TOS? I was going by the announcement on the official LL blog — and by First Meta’s announcement that they were no longer trading Lindens.

          I’m still waiting to hear back from Linden Lab about the details.

          Hopefully, Everest and Edmund, you guys are right, this is not a major change, the Lindens are not getting rid of the third-party exchange security API, and VirWoX can continue doing business as usual.

          • http://edmundintokyo.wordpress.com/ Edmund in Tokyo

            Everest is quoting from the new TOS. This is what I got when I tried to log in a few minutes ago:
            http://pastebin.com/RmUs7GPg

            Over here:
            http://modemworld.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/lab-updates-sls-terms-of-service/
            …they’re saying that the stuff about the Risk API has gone from both the wiki and the TOS, which makes it sound like they are indeed shutting that down.

            So it looks to me like VirWoX is still allowed to trade Lindens, but they’ll have to somehow deal with the risk that somebody buys Lindens with a credit card, sells them on VirWoX then cancels the payment, at which point Linden would presumably pass the loss onto VirWoX. I suppose they may be able to mitigate that in other ways – for example, look at avatar age and previous transaction history, and limit how much money you can cash out. They’re probably doing a lot of this stuff already. (I remember I had a delay the first time I funded my VirWoX account with Lindens and tried to cash out to Bitcoins.)

          • Dave Bell

            I’m wary about what the legal jargon means.

            You need to be a lawyer with experience of the Californian law on contracts to figure that TOS out. The difference between the phrasing of the blog post and the TOS may not matter. In a California court “not authorized” might include “not allowed”, but both words are used in the blog post.

            And a time or two Linden labs seem to have ignored their own 30-day rule on TOS changes. I can see why some TPEs have invoked that, while they both get clarification and arrange to close their business in an orderly manner.

            I’m lucky. I can use Paypal. I can make a direct payment with my Card. But the last time I used my card, I had the payment fail, and got an email from my bank asking me if I was in the USA. Compared to other US operations I have bought stuff from, Linden Labs do not do a good job of taking my money.

            The job of explaining this may well have been assigned to Godot Linden.

    • http://twitter.com/iliveisl Ener Hax

      not the worst, but not good either – openspaces were a debacle and so have been many smaller decisions over the years . . .

  • http://edmundintokyo.wordpress.com/ Edmund in Tokyo

    To be fair to Linden Lab they probably didn’t have much choice about this. They’ve done well to come this far without being treated like a financial institution. Maria is probably right that they may well end up having to stop people cashing out, too.

    The way to solve this problem while preserving the user experience is to switch from a centralized currency, where the company that operates the grid acts like a bank, to a decentralized currency, where the user controls their own money, no single organization acts like a bank and the grid just has to broker the transfer.

    Here’s the recent US regulatory guidance on this:
    http://fincen.gov/statutes_regs/guidance/html/FIN-2013-G001.html

    • http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/ Maria Korolov

      Personally, I would prefer to see the Second Life expand in this area, instead. Do the paperwork, and become the PayPal of virtual worlds. I think if Lindens were easily available on other grids, Linden Lab could quickly grab much of the transactions on the OpenSim grids, simply because they have more trust and brand-name recognition than any of the current alternatives (for the most part).

      If you’re going to be a currency, be a currency. Own it.

      • http://edmundintokyo.wordpress.com/ Edmund in Tokyo

        This is a very hard thing to do – PayPal work hard at this for a huge market and there are still a lot of countries where they can’t operate at all, let alone operate without a cumbersome ID verification process.

    • Savino van Meirhaeghe

      amen the first stikes to a end secondlife in 2017 …

  • Brad

    This isn’t going no where this is just a small hurdle for this Huge corporation. For some Countries maybe, but they will find away SL is there life like so many residents there. I really hope Opensim community don’t think they will gain from this. Or the money hungry grids out there. BTW I see AviWorlds thinks only profit from the Brazilians. Reminds me of the saying “Kick them when there down”

    • AviWorlds

      Money hungry grids huh? Brad…I am sorry but SL is only doing this in order to be the only one that will charge that 3.9% percent exchange fee they charge plus 1 dollars plus 30 cents each transaction. SL is being the money hungry. They do not want to share the golden DUCK anymore. Thats why they are prohibiting other exchange companies to do it now. And it will be hard to find another way around it…illegally you say perhaps? What about the transaction number for that purchase or linden sale? Difficult I would say.

    • http://minethere.blogspot.com/2012/10/region-creations.html Minethere

      just a small point here-)) much of opensim is non-commercial, with freely shared content by some awesome creators who no longer care about commercial interests. Many who have left sl completely or only go there sometimes for various reasons.

      Metropolis, Craft, Francogrid, osgrid, are a few examples of this and thus none of this has any impact at all on them.

      The commercial ones get more play than the non-commercial ones since they are sl clones [except kitely who is being innovative and different] and thus are of some appeal to some people who feel commerce is the way to do, still. As well, they market more simply due to the fact the are trying to be for-profit grids.

      This does not work well for most of them.

      I think more should remove the shackles of the commercial aspect that sl started and find how fun it is to be truly free in virtual life-))) Tho I understand well how many simply cannot fathom the mind-set required to do this.

      Freely sharing content and art and imaginations in opensim is a truly wonderful thing to behold. With freedom from upload fees, tons of prims, less size constraints, more linksets, and full control over inventories and regions, they are the future, and all this linden talk should at least get a few more to “take the steps” needed to see this.

      If anything comes from this, doing that would be so nice for so many people.

    • http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/ Maria Korolov

      I don’t think OpenSim will gain from this. In fact, if VirWoX goes down, we will lose the OMC currency.

      And Second Life is currently the top source of users for OpenSim — people who know how to use the viewers, who have already gone through the learning curve. If Second Life starts attracting and training fewer users, then OpenSim will suffer in the near term.

      • Brad

        There is a old saying which applies in this new talk in SL , “Don’t believe everything you read” again its a whole lot of nothing. Seems there simply writing on paper again there not responsible for any actions done outside of the TOS. People are blowing this wayyyy out of proportion. Mostly everyone uses LindeX anyways.

        • ciaranlaval

          It’s hardly a whole lot of nothing, eleven exchanges have ceased trading, pages are being deleted from the Wiki and people have been sent messages telling them they have to case trading, this is a bigger issue than you seem to realise.

      • http://www.v-lifeonline.com/ Christopher Strachan

        SL trains users of how to use SL? i learned SL on my own. But i have a feeling we will be seeing “tutorial sims” pop up in populated and unpopulated OS grids soon so im not to worried about OS, in fact i can see alot of people switching from SL to OS. I know I have no quit SL because of the ToS change.

  • Anonymous44

    Hello. I cant use PayPal . Cant use them not because not allowed in my country but because i hate them . Something happen few years ago with them and they rob me, and yes i own business in sl also. so now what ? will just stay with few millions of worthless shitty LL ? i dont use fucking LindeX

  • Hans

    OMG what a bad world, on ebay goes now alot dealers bankrupt. lool

  • Jonny Vayro

    Isnt that a bit stupid? Theres hundreds of 3rd party currency exchanges in SL so they will probably lose hundreds of thousands just in land rentals alone from these companies? We will be allowing 3rd party currency exchanges in Another World, i can see a lot of those companies going to other worlds to make their money.
    BTW Alex, hows the server change going? Might pop in later if your back up.

  • AviWorlds

    AviWorlds is going to be up and running today. It took a bit longer than we expected but now things are looking good. Each of our regions will have 2gig memory alocated for them. Homesteads 1 gig alocated. RAID back up systems and more. No sharing. Each region will have its own space withing our servers. So look out for AviWorlds later. Thanks for the interest.

    • http://minethere.blogspot.com/2012/10/region-creations.html Minethere

      ty for the updates Alex-))

      • Savino van Meirhaeghe

        its this downloadable this update nice i hang my region in this grid ..

    • Brad

      What is Aviworlds? a new grid or something, you sure do a lot of boasting.

      • Savino van Meirhaeghe

        what think you ???? a new TOS from secondolivo…

    • Brad

      Checked everywhere Don’t see no Aviworlds anywhere? and your post above says 3 days ago,

  • http://twitter.com/iliveisl Ener Hax

    “gold you earn by playing Mario Brothers” o_O

    what?!? *there goes my retirement planning*

    “If the Linden Dollar was completely fictional, and not redeemable for real money, it would not necessarily destroy in-world businesses . . .”

    true, in-world shops may not be grossly affected but the private estates that house those shops would be. in my glory years inSL, i exchanged around $3000 USD a month – it was something i did daily to get the best rates. if you can’t turn Lindens into USD, then you can’t run an estate. that’s pure speculation but something i was concerned about (they can do anything they like, so . . . )

    the impact you mention on Europeans will be interesting to see and it only takes something like this to be the “straw that broke the camel’s back” for some users

    • http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/ Maria Korolov

      Can’t estate managers ask their residents to pay via PayPal? It would be cumbersome — I could see that many residents might not want to do that, though.

      • Dave Bell

        Sure it’s possible. But you need some way for both parties to authenticate the link between Avatar and Paypal account. Which incoming payment come from the AV renting which parcel? Are you paying your money to the right place? There are known in-world frauds which depend on an AV pretending to have the authority to accept payments, but such crooks can be traced by Linden Labs. Move the transactions out of the L$ system, and you lose any protection.

        (But the TOS seems to disclaim responsibility for everything, so…)

        • http://twitter.com/iliveisl Ener Hax

          nicely summed up – if Lindens were no longer exchangeable for cash and LL continues with cash-only to pay for tiers, then i would estimate that over 75% of renters would disappear

          that’s supposition on my part and i would like to see a percentage for how many people actively accept non-Linden dollars for land rentals

          • http://minethere.blogspot.com/2012/10/region-creations.html Minethere

            LL ToS update breaking news!!

            “30 days notice has been changed to retroactive to one year ago”

            uhoh

      • http://www.facebook.com/autumn.radtke Autumn Radtke

        It’s super simple to accept bitcoins as payments, and then you could go to any # of exchanges and get USD/EUO ect.

  • john

    There is a roughly two years, they had announced this provision dealer linden dollar, but they also announced that they would establish a multi currency and multi-system payment in language.
    This news had been greeted quietly. This may seem confusing today is their way of doing things, but we have already used to it. Linden seems to forget that help them live in particular the European continent and the Brazilians. My customers use 80% of alternative methods to credit card and paypal, from this month they can not pay their fees. Therefore we assume the following:
    – Linden indirectly takes into exchanges of scholarships for better control of their money and dealers who buy the lindenX be tolerated?
    – The Maintenance of their expensive cost a risk api? (Besides our cooperation was discontinued a few months ago, every time we reported fraudulent cards, they no longer met)
    – They want to start closing the world. the lindens may be repatriated only by Lindex and it will be difficult to recover once.
    stay tuned

  • Brad

    Looks like a whole lot of worry, over a whole lot of nothing. LL is just doing what any other normal business would do, Cover there butts.
    As of now there isn’t a whole lot of people this new TOS will effect. So with that said you SL haters out there this don’t look like a victory for you.

    • Anonymous44

      Brad you either seem not understand the situation or u really try not to. i will give you some small example so you can understand:
      e.g
      1. You have 10 people that buying from your shop. 8 of them live in countries that are not supporting Paypal.

      2.You will loose your clients

      3.You bankrupt

      Easy as 1,2,3 + how much down you think L$ dollar will fell if all selling and less and less people buying every day because they will not being able to use those 2 methods that LindeX is providing ? Think about that? if you ask me this is the beginning for the end of second life unless they do something about it. By not allowed 3rd parties exchanges they put an expiration date to second life . Also yes i will loose my business 2. i work hard for it but like i said they do what they because they think they will just get few $ more.Greedy…..

      • Brad

        @Anonymous LOL the countries that don’t support pay-pal don’t have any lindens worth talking about in these 3rd world countries, So no loss to LL there. Also most of all the money makers in SL use LindeX already. This is basically a opensim blog talking about why LL does what it does, Remember SL is here now and always will be that’s a fact. The tiny Grids sadly will not prosper from this small hurdle. That’s a hard cold fact, Everyone always wants something for nothing, when there is a will there is a way LL always comes out on top its written in stone

        • http://www.v-lifeonline.com/ Christopher Strachan

          wow your racist with that comment. GTFO! Also I found that LindeX doesnt honor the exchange rate when buying with a credit card while paypal does. They pulling this crap cuz the 3rd party exchanges were selling L$ at a cheaper rate that alot of people right now can afford. Remember both USA and Canada(where i live) just went through a recession so alot of people in both countries are still trying to recover from that and enjoy life in a virtual world, not being able to buy L$ at a cheaper rate just ruins that for them.

          • Savino van Meirhaeghe

            wow your racist uh see you self …

        • Gaga

          Brad sounds scared or he wouldn’t even bother to post here. Nothing is written in stone but there is some writing on the wall and the continuing decline in SL regions says a lot more.

          • Brad

            @Talla You have no clue or anything to back up a decline in SL. And there surely not going to go to OSGrid nor the closed down Metro that’s for sure

          • Gaga

            I think it’s you who lacks a clue, Brad. Try following the grid survey bit.ly/11MtfW2 and note that SL has lost over 3000 regions in the last years or so,,, and continuing! That is ample proof of a decline.

          • Savino van Meirhaeghe

            so negative women. there are more grid have this error closed grid losed all time regions…reason its allone people change in other grids and try there..

          • Brad

            @Talla “I suspect that data comes from Gridsurvey.com” Has no affiliation with LL in any way shape or form, But I would like to sell you The Brooklyn bride if your interested :) see how stupid that sounds. the quote above I wrote comes from your bit.ly/11MtfW2 which is hogwash at best.

          • Gaga

            lol, you’ve lost the plot Brad. Now all you can do it talk in riddles since you can’t face the truth. Bury your head in the sand if you must. It wont change a thing. Second Life is in serious decline grid survey has been covering this with their region crawling bots for a long time. But whatevah.

          • http://minethere.blogspot.com/2012/10/region-creations.html Minethere

            just a small note of clarification if I might…lol

            Metropolis is not closed, they are doing a much needed cleanup and upgrades primarily due to the large increase in regions over the last few months.

            Metro has been around like 5 years or so and it is not going away.

            As to opensim grids where people can freely connect, it is the most popular now.

            We all expect it will run even better when they bring it back up, which may be today sometime-)))

          • gridhopper

            +Minethere you found a grid you actually get along with people? I read the forums why does Metropolis keep posting the “We will be open such and such date” and really not. There is no increase in anything there More like a decrease.

          • http://minethere.blogspot.com/2012/10/region-creations.html Minethere

            lol…silly troll….I usually spit people like you out with my week old chewing tobacco…but lately I have not been much interested-))))

            besides, I need to buy some fresh tobacco-))))

            Would you mind depositing some money in my paypal account for me please, so I can go do that? thx sweets-))

          • Peter

            with tobacco in your mouth i wont kiss you :-))

            Hun you cant judge other ppl for a brainlikeclearwater, this is NOT nice ! shame on you :-))

          • Guest

            ikr-)))

          • gridhopper

            +Mineurbusiness, if I can recall inworldz gave you the boot, OSGrid gave you the boot now your at Metropolis trying to peddle your horrible Raw file with you high arse prices. You my dear or man are the troll. now run along and talk some more poo. People laugh at you not with you.

          • Guest

            good, ’cause I laugh at me too!!!!!!

          • Hans

            grid, i love to read your comments, when i sit on toilet,
            makes alll easy for my tummy thanks alot :-)

          • gridhopper

            Isn’t Metro suppose to be up today? LOL find another pond to slither in with the rest of the bottom feeders.. Mr.mine.

          • Hans

            grid, i wish you can see how much your posts turn me on,
            how much you stimulate me :-))
            this energie how you show up your brainless head, you are awsome, i love it :-)
            i would like it if you invite me as admin on your grid,
            i know the IQ is less there but i promise to do the best to hide a bit from my brain :-))

          • Guest

            awww Hans-))) admin to my grid? i dont have a grid….i just have my 11 regions and ur welcome to use them anytime, once metro comes back up i will put u in the rez group.

            hmmm…but maybe i will do my own grid someday…gotta sell more terrains first tho-))) lolol

          • Hans

            Hi Mine,
            i lost cox i thought i talked with gridhopper and ask for a job
            and not with Mr.Mine loool
            and there is no way to go back, i wont stress with your admire, i have an idea who is it -)))
            no worries i dont tell it around, maybe for some USD loool

          • Guest

            i dunno hun….i ditched mr mine a few years ago-)))) <–is confused but knows he is not mr mine anymore, for sure-)))

            u know my admirer?????

          • Hans

            i count some posts and vids together and what do i got?
            idunno….. realy idunno it loool
            for sure he is glad to read mr. mine is gone :-))
            but what do i know ? idunno loool

          • Guest

            yea, idunno either-)))

          • Guest

            ugh..i just realized earlier you were talking to that gridhopper guy…i got lost on that since i had muted him earlier…sorry i got confused-)))

          • Hans

            you got confused ??? YOU ARE Hun looool
            but hey you cant follow all, follow……. idunno
            loool

          • Guest

            I am still waiting for your payment to my paypal account…

            adds to my shopping list:

            1] slug bait
            2] horse tranquilizer
            3] snake bait
            4] armadillo seasoning [yummy]
            5] toilet cleaner
            6] water softener

            I guess 50 USD should cover it…thx, again-))))

          • Guest

            as I wander about the free metaverse, expanding, enjoying, evolving, seeing the freely displayed imaginations of people…giving freely of themselves, gently, wonderingly, I sigh with the ephemeral [my word for the day] and fleeting abandonment, smiling sweetly at them, thanking them, marveling at their treasures…so lovingly shared for such a small insignificant such as I to see….to enjoy, to cherish

          • Savino van Meirhaeghe

            she its closed yes for 100 years this know i after 100 years come she back..and go run opensim 90.8 Version..

          • http://minethere.blogspot.com/2012/10/region-creations.html Minethere

            lol savi!!!! heck, by OS version 90.8 we will be actually living in them….beam me in Scotty!!!

          • Savino van Meirhaeghe

            its a nice version 90.8- >1000 regions on you server and unlimited avatars and hmm real face avatars not in pixels more..and 9000000.0000000000000 bilataire prims..
            cool or not…

          • http://minethere.blogspot.com/2012/10/region-creations.html Minethere

            very cool Savi….can you post the git for it please? thx-)))

          • Savino van Meirhaeghe

            yes after 100 years give i she ok this version

          • http://minethere.blogspot.com/2012/10/region-creations.html Minethere

            I want it now!!!!

          • Savino van Meirhaeghe

            as you find 200 or more programmers its this posible this are ready after 50 years…

          • Guest

            i may need to review my disqus setting again…lol

            50? nah…-)))

          • Peter

            dont talk from sex without me !
            i have to wait so you can wait too :-))
            and what the heck is ikr ??? lol

          • Savino van Meirhaeghe

            no my sexy women you need wait…no sex this day..

          • Guest

            grrrrrrrr

        • http://www.facebook.com/ticka.alphaville Ticka Alphaville

          Brad just so you know it, brazil is one of the biggest SL communities, and the vast majority of us don´t work with credit cards or even paypal, yeah we are a 3rd world country , but i can assure you that many $L pass in this country and nor LL nor Lindex have a currency regarding our national coin, unless LL wants SL to become an discriminatory virtual world in which only USD and EUROS are valuable, just saying

          • Brad

            @Ticka, I’m sure LL knows who pays what and seems majority rules on this one. Brazil, yes lots of them but really how much do they trade? Probably not enough to worry about being you don’t know, Unless you do LL’s books. Is it fair? no I suspect there will be a resolve soon. Being LL loves surprises. Also there has been no Mariel type boat lift leaving SL

  • Lasher

    If LL are determined to turn the L$ into purely play money then we should be able to pay for our mainland tier with same play dollars instead of the hard currency they demand for their overpriced server space.

    • hack13

      If you read the new revisions to the Terms of Service they do state that Lindens have no real world worth, then then go on to further say that they reserve the right to change the ability to purchase and sell. So it does seem to loom that they maybe doing this soon, so I think it would be good practice to cash out and keep low balance of L$

  • AviWorlds

    ok All Virtual currency companies you are welcome in AviWorlds. :)

    • Kahn

      as one who supports what SL did, and said “I’d do the same”, your now contradicting yourself…

  • http://www.facebook.com/philippe.carrez Philippe Carrez

    MainLand beautifull Island and Business for sale ;-) Wyrldmaker.

  • Jonny Vayro

    Couldnt have put it better myself Lasher.
    Also Brad, Were not all SL haters. Yes fair enough they are covering their butts, however, this will have a knock on effect for people such as Real Estate companies and a lot of other companies, small and large. Around 20% of people who use SL have no other choice but to use 3rd party exchanges, due to no Paypal available, no credit cards or for whatever reason. I suspect SL will lose out the same way that OS Grid did, losing a massive amount of customers, Regions and so on. A lot of these customers will go to other virtual worlds, not because they WANT to, but in some cases because they have no other choice.
    3rd party exchanges in SL are big business, and the exchange companies will want to continue making their money somewhere.
    As it says in the subject above, Virwox confirmed they had traded $38 million dollars worth of L$ in 2012. If SL want to lose that kind of trading then good luck to them. As for the 80% of $38 million, bring it to my world if you wish, i wouldnt say no to a piece of that.

  • Danko Whitfield

    Good reporting, Maria.

  • Morphman Morgan

    This wouldn’t be so bad, if it wasn’t for the fact that LL makes it out to be “for the benefit of the user” instead of pressure from the US gov. This is blatantly a first step in the new clarifications of the 2 year old US laws and LL could have prevented a lot of confusion by both releasing this information earlier, giving more than 30 days notice, and by telling the users that this is preparations for making the trading legit in accordance to US law changes.

    I don’t blame LL for what they did, just saying that they wouldn’t get as much flack if they were honest with their intentions from the start. I must say it is rather touching to see them take the full blame of all this, instead of the US gov, who should really be blamed for these changes. Then again, I can’t really blame the US gov either, many countries want to be able to tax for virtual currencies, as it is a way to evade taxes right now.

  • Dave Bell

    Apparently Anshe Chung’s Dreamland estate business is still offering to sell L$. But it isn’t an exchange, because they don’t give you real money for L$. I expect the real money they get goes towards Tier.

    I don’t know if other estates could set up to do that. There’s an overhead in accepting payments. They do have a L$ income and need to pay USD to LL, and this does bypass the LindeX. People have been wailing about the slow process of getting money out of SL via the LindeX.

  • AviWorlds

    Maria mentioned that it would be bad for open sim is OMC disappeared. I will do everything in my power to help stop that chance. OMC needs to continue its course in Open Sim worlds. AviWorlds is coming out of a very big server transfer. Lets do this!

    • Brad

      @Aviworlds Looks great on paper but opensims in general is a free metaverse just a handful try to make a profit. and OMC doesn’t have a large profit margin to even speak of.
      Maybe if you put your resources into development rather than making money in a free metaverse you would be doing a noble thing. “Food for thought”

      • Savino van Meirhaeghe

        yes this think i opensim need more resource’s and most grids closed help not in this and this find i silly..allone one grid help avination more not..the other grids sit still in the background and do notings or change codes in secret..there have you a point in this..

  • AviWorlds

    Attention ALL!. The answer is very simple. Linden Labs made this decision in order to make more money (3% exchange fees) and also to prevent LINDEN DOLLARS from being traded outside Second Life. By doing that the worlds governments cannot accuse Linden Labs of having a world wide traded currency LIKE BITCOINS. Linden Dollars will be only traded INSIDE Second Life. So no longer can Linden Dollars be a world wide virtual currency. By letting VIRWOX and other exchange companies trade Linden Dollars; yes then Linden Dollars is a world wide traded virtual currency.
    So linden labs is actually trying to save Linden Dollars from becoming a world wide currency.

    So that is their move and if I owned SL I would do the samething.

    Unfortunately by doing that SL will lose all the customers that do not use paypal and credit cards…

  • http://gwynethllewelyn.net/ Gwyneth Llewelyn

    So the alternative is just to start a new virtual currency and use it in SL instead.

    Until LL forbids that as well. Huh. This is completely insane, to be honest. Some days I believe that somehow, someone at LL wants SL to *deliberately fail*. It’s when things start to go smoothly towards a bright future that, bang! — LL shoots themselves back on the foot. Again.

    What’s that paranoid fear they have about everything they do? I do know that “American” is a synonym of “paranoid”, but LL so often behave as if they fear their own shadows…

  • paci

    TheRockTrading has received an email from Linden Lab to stop allowing currency trading of Lindens, and done so. After a request of clarification, Linden Lab answered that TheRockTrading ATM can still accept Lindens, for stock trading only.

  • Nathan Adored

    A number of years ago, I heard it said that if you had a self-made millionaire and you took away all his money, before long he’d be rich again, because he knows how to make money, that is, because he already has the hard-earned experience in what it takes to bring himself an income from various legit directions even if he has to get out there and bust his butt again.

    Now, I look at Virwox. They WERE second *only* to LL’s own L$ exchange, Lindex, in amount of L$ bought and sold through them. As has been pointed out multiple times here and on the other blog posts talking about the surprise TOS change…. they made $38 million in L$ trades last year. They’re like that proverbial millionaire who just had it all taken away from them, except in this case they still have whatever remaining profits they had in the bank from recent times. Guess what, they got to be the 2nd biggest L$ trader in SL by their *own* *hard* *work*, I strongly expect they’ll get to be the biggest trader in other virtual-world currencies *also* by their own hard work, probably quite soon, since they already have the hard-earned experience at doing so in SL with L$.

    At least some of the other exchanges can be looked at in a similar light, but I bring up Virwox in particular because they were the top of the heap.

    • http://gwynethllewelyn.net/ Gwyneth Llewelyn

      Hear, hear.