Genesis Metaverse takes currency battle public

Podex terminal on the Virtual Highway grid. (Image courtesy Podex.)

Genesis Metaverse, a commercial grid that emerged last fall from the collapse of Avi-Labs, has been having problems with its currency vendor, Podex, and took the dispute public today.

For residents, this means that they will now buy and sell their currency directly from the grid and not from Podex, and will not be able to use Podex to transfer their currency to other grids.

Genesis Metaverse is claiming that Podex owes it $700, and has cut off Podex from the grid.

Grid owner Cliff Hopkins said that he is planning legal action.

“At this point, our trust in third-party currency is shot,” he told Hypergrid Business.

It is not clear what actually happened here. Hopkins has posted what he claims to be transcripts of online conversations confirming the obligation.

Podex CEO Jacek Shuftan told Hypergrid Business that the real story is very different.

No losses to residents

Hopkins promised that residents will not lose any money as a result of the dispute, even if they bought from Shuftan.

Cliff Hopkins

“We will be honoring all currency that was purchased though him,” he said. “If any of the members wish to cash out they can do through us even if they originally purchased it from Podex.”

Hopkins said that he had to give Podex money in order to get started with that exchange, and now wants that money back.

That’s not the way it works, Shuftan told Hypergrid Business. “I never charge any money for using the Podex service.”

He said that he tried to work things out with the grid, but then the grid cut off relations and went public with the dispute.

“The owners decided that Podex is not allowed to service Genesis Metaverse and banned my avatar,” he said. “So Podex can not proceed any transactions there.”

In addition, Podex users will no longer be able to transfer money between Genesis Metaverse and other grids, he said.

“Because the situation is unpleasant not only for me but first of all for all avatars who used intergrid transfers and now they can not,  I kindly ask Genesis Metaverse management to calm down their nerves and reconsider their decision,” he said.

However, according to Hopkins, it was Podex that shut down service first.

“Podex is no longer permitted to trade after breaking his contract with us by suspending trading to try and get a better deal,” he said.

Before today, residents were able to buy currency from both the Genesis Metaverse grid, and from Podex, and also to sell their virtual currency in both places.

This meant that, say, someone could buy a bunch of virtual currency from Podex, then sell it back to the grid.

That requires some cooperation between the grid and Podex to keep things balanced, in the form of transfers of the virtual currency, and, this apparently, is where the dispute comes from.

How Podex works

According to Shuftan, grids typically use Podex in one of two ways.

One is that they let Podex handle everything. All the grid has to do is come up with a name for their currency. Podex sells it, buys it, handles all the security issues, and makes money from the commissions it charges. No actual money ever needs to change hands between Podex and the grid.

To get the ball rolling, Podex has to have some of the virtual currency to start with, and here the grid gives Podex permission, to, basically, print money.

This is the way 3rd Life Grid did it.

“When we started the grid, I had Podex handle the money right from the start and I had to give them 500,000 of our virtual currency to start,” 3rd Life Grid spokesman Gary Justus told Hypergrid Business. He confirmed this was all virtual currency, not real money.

The other option is where the grid itself controls all the money, and Podex is just the reseller. This is how it worked with Second Life, for example.

“In such case I buy coins from grid owners, and resell them but I can not guarantee that I will buy all the coins from the grid,” said Jacek.

Either way, the grid itself doesn’t have to pay any money to Podex.

All the details are posted on the Podex website. “It is not a secret,” said Shuftan.

Other grid owners happy with Podex system

Many grids currently use or otherwise participate in the Podex system, including 3rdLife GridAdult GridBaller Nation GridDigiworldzDiscovery GridDreamscape GridEmilacGenesis Global JourneyGreat Canadian GridGreekLife WorldInWorldzIsland OasisKonk GridLost ParadiseMy Virtual CommunityNeverworld GridSinful GridThe Encore EscapeVenture WorldzVirtual HighwayVirtual Life BrasilYrGrid, and ZanGrid.

Terry Ford

“We are indeed using Podex and have never had any issues with them at all,” said Digiworldz grid owner Terry Ford. “We have been well supported.”

Digiworldz opted to have Podex handle the entire currency system, he said.

“We do not get involved with currency at all, we simply provide the framework required for Podex to operate,” he said.

Baller Nation also uses Podex and the platform works well.

“i am unaware of any problems with Podex,” said Monique Bartley, who is also known as Malani Baller in-world. “As far as I know, no one has complained on my grid of any issues.”

Another grid that uses Podex for its currency is ZanGrid.

“We never had any issues with Jacek at all,” said ZanGrid co-founder Suzan de Koning-Moennink. “He is very correct and gives very good service. Yes, he does take a part of the money during exchanging, but he needs to earn a bit and pay his bills as well.”

She said she was shocked to see that Genesis Metaverse took this dispute public.

“They should know better then this,” she said. “So unprofessional to spread this in the open. The members do not know how this works and yet they all have an opinion based on wrong and false information.”

The Adult Grid uses the other option, where Podex is just a reseller of its virtual currency, and has also had no issues.

“Podex has ATMs that allow users to buy the grid’s currency, but Podex does not provide the entire currency system, said grid co-founder Constanza Amsterdam.

“We are not aware of any issues, so I don’t see any reasons for TAGgers to be worried,” she said.

Why use a third party currency provider at all?

Most commercial grids offer some form of in-world currency, to allow for easy transactions between residents. But running your own currency is difficult and risky. Avination, for example, lost more than $125,000 to fraud.

As a result, grids turn to third-party service providers. Podex is currently the most popular, but Gloebit has recently been gaining ground. Another option is the Open Metaverse Currency from Virwox, but grids have been complaining about lack of support and adoption has stalled. We do not currently have any grids in our database listed as using this currency.

Other grids have no currency at all, or use a fictional currency with no monetary value, or use PayPal, though that expensive and unwieldy for in-world purchases.

It is also possible to have multiple currencies on the same grid.

For example, several grids that run their own currencies, or use Podex as the currency provider, are also experimenting with Gloebit on some regions.

When grids run their own currencies, those currencies can only be used on that grid, and cannot be used during hypergrid shopping trips to other grids. They can be traded for other currencies, but only if the grid has an arrangement with a currency exchange, such as Podex.

Grids that use Podex as their currency provider also have a unique, local currency that only only be used on their grid. Residents can also use the Podex exchange to trade their currencies for those other grids.

The Gloebit currency can be used by hypergrid shoppers on any grid that supports it. It has recently enabled cash-outs and is now in use on about 17 grids.

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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. Follow me on Twitter @MariaKorolov.

  • lab

    the FACT is these socalled currency service providers are just scams & skimmers. Podex for example is a flat out scam, with rates & charges that give the user from 75% to as low as 35% value, the rest he takes as fees & cuts.

  • As always maria totally slanting the trusth and shifting the blame (just like the campain againt Inworlds) so gives a good news story, never mind the fact that 700$ has been stolen out of GMV as Podex has sold the equvilent to that in currency and kept it, frauding the GMV community.

    Podex was given a initial loan of 500,000 G$ ($1000 USD) to begin trading in GMV and be able to transfer the GMV currency to and from other grids, this was never atempted to be paid back over the 12 months he had that loan, we took a percentage out of his extra puchases (which he agreed to) to bring that balance down (currently owes $700.00 as repaid $300.00 over the 12 months so he knew it was not a gift) which was agreed upon however his purchases never kept up with the orginal deal that was set out to be repaid.

    • Fanny

      Virtual Money, not real money.

      • You’re right Fanny, in theory it has absolutely no value – UNTIL PayPal is used to purchase that virtual money……at that point it is assigned a value.

        • Fanny

          So your saying until such time as Podex cashes out the 500,000 G$, it has no value?

  • Angus MacLeod

    The facts involved are this. Podex was fronted the currency to get started, which he SHOULD have had to back his business as ANY contientious business owner would have, rather than asking for a loan then calling it a gift to get out of repaying said loan. He actually did repay a minor portion of this thereby proving he knew and admitted it WAS a loan and NOT a gift. If I started a business IRL no manufacturer is going to GIVE me their products to sell. Whether he said he charged or not does not matter as he was bilking the residents badly by charging a completely unreasonable fee for currency purchases and exchanges. I do notice a rather strong slant to saying that the grid owner was not being honest and taking the Podex owner at his word. Maybe you should actually investigate before publishing as any honest newsperson would do….or perhaps go to work for Fox News. I hear enough “alternative facts” from the govt TYVM

  • “Because the situation is unpleasant not only for me but first of all for all avatars who used intergrid transfers and now they can not, I kindly ask Genesis Metaverse management to calm down their nerves and reconsider their decision,” he said.

    [14:27:45] Jacek Shuftan: I want to start with saying sorry if I was rude yesterday, I really had a bad day,
    [14:28:08] Jacek Shuftan: but anyway, I manager to catch my partner and we discussed the case in details
    [14:28:15] Jacek Shuftan: I can understand that you feel that you were robbed by Podex, but believe me it was not my intention so we are really going to pay the 700 usd back
    [14:28:32] Jacek Shuftan: although we stail do not treat it as paying back the loan

    When his terms were not agreed to we were told this:

    [15:53:12] Jacek Shuftan: I do not know USA law very well, but anyway I am afraid that your case wil be hard to win
    [15:53:21] Dragon : you have sold 500,000 G$ off our grid in equivalent to 1000$ USD and kept the money that is theft
    [15:53:48] Jacek Shuftan: its not my case now, as my lawer agent will care about it, or have a legal case with a littel Chance to win
    [15:55:08] Jacek Shuftan: bye keeping money
    [15:55:22] Jacek Shuftan: good luck getting it back

    So tell me Maria? Who’s facts are correct now?

    • “and I am sorry to let you know that I have to temporarily hold exchange,” – WE did NOT shut him down, HE made that decision!

  • Amethyst Jetaime

    When I first joined Genesis I used Podex to get cash fast in order to buy things to makeover the newb avi. This was before I knew about buying it directly. I was absolutely SHOCKED by the fees I was charged which were unreasonably high. Since then I have never used it again other than to do one final transfer of money from one grid to another. Buying and selling directly from Genesis is much much much cheaper with no fees charged by the grid.

    From the conversations with Mr. Shuftan and evidence I’ve seen which are partially published here, I know that of the $1000 in RL money that was loaned him, he paid back $300 then stopped paying. If this was a gift why did he pay back that amount?? He says Genesis has no case, but they actually have a strong one from the evidence I’ve seen IMO. I am not a lawyer but have had and passed a graduate level course contract law btw.

    I find this article very slanted and not at all fair. Maybe other grid owners and grid residents get a better deal and are treated more fairly by Podex, but not residents of Genesis or it’s owners. I am glad this is public so that other grid owners know about it. Quite frankly if any grid goes through Podex to handle their currency they will never get any business from me.

    You should have investigated this more. Very poor reporting IMO.

    • As far as I can tell, and I haven’t heard otherwise from anyone involved, there was no exchange of real money at the start of the process. The exchange was in virtual currency. There’s potential loss to Genesis Metaverse if and only if residents who bought the currency from Podex decide to cash it out from Genesis Metaverse, and the two companies aren’t able to balance the books afterwards. I hope the parties involved have good contracts in place that spell the process out clearly, and are able to work things out.

      • Angus MacLeod

        He also has sales he has with held from those residents of the grid. So he is not the entirely scrupulous character you might think and once again I might point out, and HONEST business owner does not expect to be gifted their product. They have the cash to support their startup until it turns a profit honestly and don’t ask for gifts then scam customers. or try taking control of the currency market.

      • Amethyst Jetaime

        You obviously don’t understand basic math. $500,000G’s were loaned to him with the understanding that the RL money he received from the sale (at a set rate of $1US to $500G’s) would be paid to Genesis within one year, he sold the G’s but didn’t repay $700, and refuses to pay it. That is theft. There is nothing that says he’s only liable to pay if those G’s were ‘cashed out’ by residents. You just ASSUME this WITHOUT checking the facts. Further that is $700US that the grid owners must use their own money to cover ( as they money will be cashed out if not by the purchaser by merchants or other service providers) that could be used for personal expenses or for funding the grid otherwise. In what universe is that Just a ‘potential’ loss and not an actual one?

        What kind of reporting assumes facts without checking if they are actual facts?

        • lab

          not only but also: when i checked his terminal on Genesis last week the rate set was $us1 to $300g

  • Da Hayward

    Boo Hoo genesis once again.

    Good article maria

    • Angus MacLeod

      badly researched non factual article Kelly_anne…er..Maria…sorry I find those alternatives soo confusing.

    • iidripdiamonds diamond

      haha the best article ever da hayward

  • I just updated the story with Hopkins’ quote that Podex shut down trading first. I don’t personally know who’s right or wrong in this, and who did what first, so a lot of this is a he said, he said situation. But I contacted more than a dozen grid owners, and nobody had anything bad to say about Podex.

    • Angus MacLeod

      You might;’ve asked other grid owners. You needed to ask both aprties involved and not just the podex owner before publishing. HIGHLY irresponsible reporting in my opinion, and I used to work news in radio.

      • Da Hayward

        Awww come on Genesis loves the publicity when it in its favour soon as it anything else its same old story legal action, we want nothing to do with your publication. yet they still have a free ad on this publication
        get off your high horse

        • Angus MacLeod

          I am merely stating the facts which are these. Podex did willfully gouge residents and has done so for quite some time, by selling things that were not his to sell, wincew his intent was plain that he would not pay for it in the first place. And the FACT that this article was not researched by speaking with both parties but only with the one party the author favored and third parties who were in no way involved. She did not ONCe speak with the victims about this prior to publication. Again very irresponsible reporting. Almost as irresponsible as the Podex owner thinking he could get away with this. I can pretty much unequivocally say he has no clue who to run an honest business with things priced fairly. And I can pretty much say you are almost as knowledgable about this as he is since you have not spoken to the victims to find the facts out either yet blindly accept these “alternative facts” from this one sided article.

          • Da Hayward

            Maria in the Article hasn’t taken sides. And I will admit that I am biased in favour of Podex. But as Maria has said often reporting is he said that or they said this. I thought her article was well written. She is reporting what both parties are saying.

          • Angus MacLeod

            It is quite obvious she spoke with the podex owner. It is also quite obvious she spoke with other grid owners about this…..did she even once interview the victims? Nope….definitely one sided and she did this article specifically for the purpose of making the owners of Genesis look bad. Yet another attack against them because they have a GOOD and FAIR grid, unlike most others

          • Angus MacLeod

            I’ve worked news IRL before. This is quite obviously bad reporting. More suited to the grocery store rags that have photos of the alligator baby etc.

          • Da Hayward

            emphasis worked news before not currently?

          • Dykoda Desmoulins

            With all due respect, this comment makes you appear to be writing specifically for the purpose of making Maria look bad. Perception is a funny thing.

          • Da Hayward

            well apparently Maria wasn’t the first to comment on this in a public forum , Cliff and Candy did in their forum.
            so was your GOOD and Fair Grid fair to Podex when they posted their views? Also I know Genesis as time goes on you will learn. Maria doesn’t try to make owners look bad, in fact she has removed my comments and even banned me from posting on certain threads regarding Genesis. So please don’t criticise when you know nothing you are talking about

          • lmpierce

            Just to clarify, I have been handling moderation since Maria invited me to be moderator over three years ago. Yes, comments have been deleted on threads related to the Genesis grid, and of course, on other articles as well. The action of moderation is to evaluate comments in light of the Discussion Guidelines. Whether comments are valid or not is a separate matter.

          • Da Hayward

            Yup and fair enough Impeirce, on occasion I have been known to be a “bit heated” in my comments.

    • Amethyst Jetaime

      You can contact a dozen homeowners in RL that say they weren’t robbed by a thief, while one certainly was. It proves nothing

    • voltaire

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but would not Podex (or any other currency handling company) be on the hook to pay people back if a grid closes down? So in the case of dual currency selling (grid and podex), any currencies sold by the grid and then the grid closing down would become the responsibility of the currency company to cover? And since we have seen instances of grids closing and people losing their money as the grids in question acted as their own financial center why would anyone trust their RL money to such grids? I personally would not trust any grid that acted as its own financial center again.

  • Arturas Baltrukaitis

    In MY VIRTUAL COMMUNITY grid we have two resellers of our Virtual Currency (VC): Podex and Virwox. Both resellers working good and we have no problems with it. I can say that Jacek Shuftan always provide Podex services well. I would recommend Podex services to everyone who need VC inside grid or region.

  • Carlos Loff

    One of these days someone will finally add an embeded Paypal server system to the viewer and everything will be more easy, fast and safe, with no other third parties coming in !!!

  • Emily Slinkycub

    Well i need to also clear up something as Maria seems to disemble, The Adult Grid aka T.A.G lists us as using podex, podex systems in tag are a means of withdrawl ATM and not deposit system. We mainly handle currency transactions ourselves. We also do not allow podex to operate as a currency exchange system. I am not going to take this to a point of being a stab at anyone, though recently this blog has moved pretty much away from being a look at businesses and grids in the virtual world systems and sharing information. It now in all honesty appears to be the VW equivalent of USA Today.

    • Dykoda Desmoulins

      I’m confused as to why you say that Maria was dissembling. Unless I misunderstand (and I went back and checked twice), Maria wrote that TAG uses the option where Podex is just a reseller of its virtual currency, and even quoted Constanza as saying “Podex does not provide the entire currency system.”

  • And tell me? Why the need to “tip Maria”? Nothing more than gossip mongering at it’s worst. This is not “reporting” nor are the comments anything more than constant bashing of one grid or person. Maybe if Maria kept to herself and left grids alone, the animosity between them would vanish as well? This site claims to want opensim to work together to ensure EVERYONE in it enjoys themselves to the fullest but yet the constant bashing by her and all who sit here waiting on her next “article” do just the opposite.

    • Dykoda Desmoulins

      I really don’t read this article as bashing the Genesis Metaverse grid, and I believe reporting the news, both good AND bad, is something every community needs. I personally haven’t always agreed with the ‘opinions’ that are shared, but the articles are generally very informative, and usually, all involved parties are given the opportunity to ‘tell their side’, if they choose. I have also, many times, seen Maria make follow-up comments/reports when something is proven to be incorrect or misinterpreted, or even just for additional clarification. News is news and sometimes it’s rainbows and butterflies, other times it’s tornadoes and earthquakes. While I can certainly understand why your grid wouldn’t want this particular information to be publicized, it is nonetheless news and news that affects people in the Opensim community. As far as the need to ‘tip’ the news media on potential stories is to ensure that news that has the potential to affect the general public gets reported. And like it or not, this definitely falls into that category.

      • Fli Girl

        My thoughts exactly, well said Dykoda. I do hope both parties can come to agreeable terms though for all involved..

  • Peter

    I don’t use either Podex or Genesis so I have absolutely zero bias toward either. When I read the article I thought it was interesting and sufficiently offered both sides of the story. If it turns out that Podex is truly in the wrong, then Genesis benefits from the increased exposure this article is giving to the issue. Why are they so angry about this article?

    I don’t know when grids will realize that attacking journalists that report about your business IS NOT A GOOD LOOK for your business. The public deserves to know what’s going on, and that isn’t always going to be something necessarily convenient to your business. It’s smarter for your image to take articles like these in stride (or simply ignore them) if they really bother you so much, rather than go on an all-out attack on the reporter for simply passing along publicly available information.

  • Marianna Monentes

    From what I understand Dragon feels Podex owes him $700 USD if this is correct, then why did Candi Genesis set up a Gofundme account for $5000 https://www.gofundme.com/DragonsBike sorry but the math isn’t adding up, maybe its my calculator.

    • Da Hayward

      This was in a previous thread a few months back you are right Marianna things don’t add up.
      Dragon Heart Da Hayward • 3 months ago
      yea i know bud lol but genesis is going no where, im going no where, candi is going no where.

      Genesis is covered for the next 58 months (in revenue and investments from outside sorces i have in my personal paypal and GMV business bank account) and also thats expanding every month by another 1 1/2 months per month, so were deffinatly not going anywhere exept forwards and onwards, were in the top 3 to 5 in binders world and in the top 10% in less than 3 months in marias stats (not trying to plug here lol) plus our avrae daily users is over 50

    • Amethyst Jetaime

      The GoFundMe campaign was actually entirely the idea of residents. Candi just set it up for us so any correct RL infomation would be available as that site requires. None of us are party to that info.

      • Da Hayward

        I’m sorry Amethyst, but Cliff made a comment in this very forum a few months back stating he had 58 months of funds available to cover Genesis. So you may understand why some are questioning his credibility. The fact does still remain that Genesis is his grid & as the grid owner/ manager he is responsible for any short fall in operating costs. Now Cliff and Candi will inform you I am totally biased against them, which does have some truth to it. I am sorry about that too
        But a lot of us have seen Genesis blame others for their own shortcomings numerous times in the past.

        • Amethyst Jetaime

          The $700 dollars Podex stole now has to be covered at the insistence of the investors. Yes the grid owners are ultimately responsible for operating costs but most residents feel that Podex has stolen this money. This isn’t a typical ‘operating cost’. When we found out what Dragon did to cover it , we residents felt he shouldn’t have to lose his bike due to theft and also want to show our appreciation for what what a fine job the Owner’s do. I wonder how many other grids have RL money in reserve to cover ever dollar of their currency in circulation. You also now admit you are bias against them so people should ignore any comments you make.

          • Da Hayward

            no i think people like you should probably ask around a few non biased grid owners
            no matter what you are told by cliff.If Cliff gave Podex $1000 real money he is the first grid owner to do so.ask around please
            Podex operates honestly. that is if podex has received x amount of real dollars for virtual currency they will cash out on that amount. I do not know any one who will cash out real money for “monopoly” money. A grid owner can write their own inworld balance to what they wish. IT IS NOT REAL MONEY! do you comprehend that?

          • Da Hayward

            I honestly believe you and your fellow residents are being led up the garden path. Cliff says he had over 58 months worth of operating costs in reserve. now come on! So he sold his so called motor bike when he had those funds available? i’m sorry but i think you need to do a bit of research into Genesis

          • Suz Blessed

            Well Amethyst, ZanGrid has saved up money for unexpected expenses. Running a Grid is a business, so you do need money reserved, because we all deal from time to time with some losses and disappointments. And we need to cover this without involving the residents. Because this is not their problem or should not be their problem.

        • And you all wondered why I left opensim at least for a bit so much blame wars and people trying to ruin you over microtransactions

          • Da Hayward

            welcome back josh

          • Cinder Biscuits

            I don’t think anybody wondered because you post that you left all the time.

        • Amethyst Jetaime

          Genesis has a cash reserve of RL money to cover every dollar of G’s in circulation. I wonder how many grids have such a reserve. The investors insisted this $700 needs to now be covered since Podex refused to pay for the currency they sold which they are obligated to do under their agreement with Genesis. The money Cliff refers to is for operating expenses not cash reserves. I have never heard the grid owners ‘blame’ others. They have always been totally transparent in the running of the grid. As you now admit you are totally biased against the grid owners, you comments obviously should be ignored for what they are.

          • Da Hayward

            i have reasons for my bias amethyst. and by saying that i don’t think you are an idiot or bad person, in fact i admire you loyalty to your grid. But in my opinion only, take it as you wish genesis has made a lot of accusations against others in the past including now Podex. It is also my opinion that this is another case of them covering their own butts. sorry if you don’t like my opinion. if Lawrence wishes to remove this comment I understand but I think you really do need to research into genesis’s past history or ask around the greater Open Sim community.

  • Da Hayward

    One thing with the comments in this thread, and yes I do agree everybody is entitled to an opinion.
    It just seems really strange that 3 months ago Dragon or someone claiming to be Dragon stated they had 58 months worth of funds banked to cover costs, yet a Gofundme account for $5000 has been set up on their behalf, as I’m told Cliff needed to sell his motorbike to cover resident cash outs. It is starting to look like every time Genesis faces a “crisis” they seek out someone else to take the blame and fall.In this case Podex. In the article a lot of reputable & long standing grids have stated they have had no issues with Podex.
    So really come on Cliff and Candi some of us do have brains

    • 1derworld

      Holy smoke a Gofundme LOL now that’s good comedy isn’t it enough these grids charge money some higher than others for rent of a virtual land. And now want donations to get them out of the messy hole they dug. LOL can’t stop laughing. Some nerve.

      • Da Hayward

        im kinda thinking same thing

    • iidripdiamonds diamond

      wow thanks for sharing this Da

  • 1derworld

    Just another day in the happy place, Opensims 🙂

    • Da Hayward

      rofl right on Joe!

  • lmpierce

    Just a reminder… “Stole” is an accusation, and there has been no trial establishing that an act of theft occurred. There is a dispute, there are opinions, and so on… naturally people often believe one thing or another whether all the facts are established, and regardless of formal proceedings. But for purposes of moderation, serious accusations, such as “stole” are removed from comments as they amount to libel, and that is grounds for removal as stated in the Discussion Guidelines. Some comments were removed from the following discussion because the word “stole” was used (and comments in reply to that comment were removed because they had lost their source for the response).

  • Angus MacLeod

    One more thing then I am done with this….
    My cow died so I really don’t need Maria’s bull.

    • Da Hayward

      its funny how the genesis people always comment within minutes of each other… I wonder why?

  • Waki Janus

    At some point to purchase any currency you either have to use Paypal, Visa, or MasterCard. That sentence in regard Paypal was badly worded and misrepresents that facts. I also question the continued statement that Avination got ripped off for $120,000. I don’t see how it could have unless the owners were super careless or compilict.

    • Da Hayward

      Personally i like the Pay Pal system and do realise that they do charge fee’s for transactions.
      I do know some renters would rather pay with inworld currency that they have earned by selling products or services.
      Although that is a pain when renting land out.
      It really what comes down to each individual’s personal needs or situation I guess

  • Kamira Sirnah

    I might be way off base on how podex works..but from a simplistic point of view, I purchased coins from podex and paid a fee to do so. Podex has my money, so they owe it back to me. However, when I approached Podex about returning my money, he said he is unable to do so as he has no access to his account. I cannot believe he does not have records of transactions. I can easily give him a record of it from my own account. He says he is sorry he is unable to return my money. This correspondence with him perhaps reveals some of the truth, maybe not. I do not know who is wrong and who is right in the initial agreements, however, Podex took my money along with a fee, how are they not responsible for returning it?

    • Talla Adam

      According to Podex Genesis Metaverse owners have blocked them from trading currency on their grid and without the “Podex Exchange” avatar in GM they can’t service local user accounts. But GM say they will handle cash-out’s for Podex customers themselves and to do that they are demanding Podex give them the funds built up in their account from the sale of $G tokens as per the deal they struck with Podex to serve as their token issuing bank. That fund, by the way, dose not belong to either Podex or GM. It is money entrusted to Podex who are, or were, GM’s currency issuing agent.

      However, the fact you are expecting Podex to meet your cash-out, Kamira highlights the problem Podex faces IMHO. Legally, they sold you the currency and they are responsible to buy it back out of the funds that GM are now demanding be paid to them in the strongest terms, as anyone reading these comments will have noted.

      I don’t see a criminal act here. I see a dispute between the GM grid owners and Podex Exchange that is hurting all their customers and damaging confidence in virtual currency services and that hurts the whole Metaverse since the growth of the market for virtual products and services across the Hypergrid is very much dependent on honest banking and exchange services.

      Podex has had an excellent reputation so far, and still enjoys the confidence of very many grids so I would urge GM to drop the ranting and seek an amicable settlement with Podex as quickly as possible.

      • Da Hayward

        Very good reply Talla.
        The whole issue really is between Genesis and Podex, hopefully cooler heads will prevail.

  • I really do not understand why we even have commercial grids in 2017! With a little bit of practise and basic computer skills anyone can run an opensim region on their home computer or rent a dedicated server. With Sim-on-a-stick and the Deva version there is no excuse in my opinion to pay money to rent a region from a third party grid – heck I don’t even trust OSGrid (even though it is free) after their outage a year or two ago.

    I have been asked many times to join this commercial grid or that commercial grid. I always turn such requests down. My moto is simple, “if you don’t control it, you don’t own it.” Why people want to entrust their inventories, regions, OARS etc to third party grids is beyond me.

    As for third party money systems, this only once again makes the case for decentralized digital currencies such as Bitcoin. Whether it be your third party commercial grid owner, or the Central bank (other words known as professional crooks) no one should be able to control your money or tell you what you can or can’t do with it! Besides that I have made over UDS$2000 worth of free money using Bitcoin 🙂 Beat that with a stick Globits and Podex :p

    • I have basic computer skills, and have run an OpenSim mini-grid on my home computer, and I’m willing to pay any amount of money to have someone else do it for me.

      Experts often forget that what is easy for them is a struggle for anyone else. I’ve got a friend who can put on false eyelashes in seconds. It takes me at least half an hour and several false starts. We all have our strengths! I also don’t bake my own bread, color my own hair, or fix my own car. Yes, I can do all those things. More specifically, I can learn to do ONE of those things, and practice it enough to be good at it. But I don’t have time to do everything, so I’m careful about the one new skill I pick up. Currently, for me, that’s database design. (I’m trying to wean myself off Filemaker.)

      In addition, with OpenSim, there are issues with upgrades, backups, and bandwidth where having a professional running in, on a real data center, is super useful.

      • “Experts”….who said you have to be an expert? Straw man argument Maria, don’t put words in my mouth.

        If you want to pay money for someone else to do it for you in Opensim, why not stay in SL? Opensim is about freedom to run the thing yourself and not be tied a third party – that’s what the thing was designed for in the first place, to get away from the clutches of Linden Lab.

        However, I didn’t say people shouldn’t chose to go to commercial grids – that is their choice and personal freedom, if you read what I said again – I don’t understand why people would want to. Why leave one prison to join a smaller replica? But that is just my opinion – and you know what they say about opinions:P

        • You said you didn’t understand why people would want to. I’m giving you my reasons. Specifically, that by using a hosting provider, I get the low-cost and flexibility and backups and all the other benefits of having my own virtual world (without having to pay SL prices or deal with SL restrictions) — without it taking up too much time and effort on my part.

          Those are some very dramatic benefits.

          But for those people who do want to run OpenSim on their own, whether in order to learn the technology, or to get warehouse space for their building projects, or for a small private grid for them to enjoy by themselves or with their friends, and so on, I currently recommend the Dreamworld installer as a place to start: http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2016/12/i-used-dreamworld-to-create-a-free-mini-grid-on-my-pc/

          • Well when I said I don’t understand, I didn’t mean literally, I know the arguments and reasons – I meant more in a philosophical ‘why’?

            “I get the low-cost and flexibility and backups and all the other benefits of having my own virtual world (without having to pay SL prices or deal with SL restrictions)…” Bingo, you just made my argument for me 🙂 You can’t get cheaper than doing it yourself, or less restrictions than your own rules.

            Anyway, we are going round in circles. I don’t have a problem with people renting I believe in individual freedom and personal rights and responsibilities and in case there is any doubt, I am not having a dig at anyone that does go to commercial grids – live and let live people.

          • lmpierce

            As a principle, it’s not entirely correct to say you can’t get cheaper than doing it yourself. Perhaps that’s often true if one considers only the out of pocket spending of money. But when it comes to the larger issue of cost, namely opportunity cost, it can be much more expensive to do it yourself. And even when it comes to spending money, companies usually have economies of scale that individuals cannot achieve, which can make doing it yourself cost more money as well.

            So, let’s say I’m able to earn $15 an hour minimum. If I spend an hour a month working on the technical side of my own sim (not to mention paying for electricity and hardware wear and tear and obsolescence), that has cost me at least $15, because that’s what I could have earned by working for money for that hour. This is a simple example of opportunity cost.

            As for out of pocket expenses, renting time on an Amazon server just when I need it is probably cheaper than maintaining my own PC at the same level of performance and redundancy and reliability. So a service that rents out time may actually be able to save me money as well in the long run.

            My advice to people on OpenSim would vary depending on their use, the scale of their ambitions and their technical skills, but for most people, paying $15 a month for a turnkey system that they simply use can be a much better value than DIY. And since the DIY option is always there, the choice exists for people to do exactly what they need most to fit their ambitions, with the costs they are willing to incur, however those costs are calculated.

            (You also mention backups as an important feature of DIY. I agree, but users can find hosts that permit OAR backups, which I find to be a fairly comprehensive solution. I do realize that IAR backups are nearly impossible to find, but in that case, content creators can keep local backups. That just leaves the vulnerability of losing purchased goods, but unless purchased goods had export permissions, how could a DIY solution provide any better assurance of preservation?)

            You did finish your comment with “live and let live people”, so I understand that you were exploring a perspective, and my comment is not meant to belabor the issue. It’s just that unless opportunity cost and economies of scale are included in a discussion of costs, that discussion of costs is lopsided and incomplete.

          • JozeeTungsten

            IMHO the biggest reason for renting is the simple fact that opensimulator is, at the moment at least, a very imperfect system. It can be daunting to get an instance running, even for those of us with not inconsiderable computer experience. I spent years working as a dev on big server projects and I am totally confident renting a bare-bones linux cloud and putting up a region. If needs be I can even build my own from source. While there are a lot of people involved with opensimulator with similar backgrounds, this is not the experience expected from an average user.

          • lmpierce

            When I was first interested in OpenSim I downloaded it and ran it on a Mac Pro. I had found a website with step-by-step instructions, which worked. To my way of thinking, this was not particularly difficult, although it was somewhat time-consuming overall. The result was great performance, seeing as a local instance of OpenSim is really responsive. Still, over time, I realized I wanted to use a hosting service. There were a number of benefits, despite my DIY abilities. Even if OpenSim was as easy to install and use as an app, I would pay for hosting.

            I prefer to pay $20 a month for all of the following services:

            1. Complete maintenance of the hosting infrastructure.
            2. Much higher bandwidth for visitors to my regions when using a host.
            3. Hosting interface to support visitors and metrics to my regions.
            4. Built-in support for Hypergrid.
            5. No thinking about the system; all my time is spent on content creation.
            6. Backups of my OARs and IARs by the service (not to mention my own OAR backups that the service supports).

            Taken all together, those features (and other more nuanced advantages) are easily worth $20 a month to me, even though I’m fully capable of setting up a home-based system that approximates those outcomes.

            If, on the other hand, I wanted to build my own private world for fun, create machinima, explore the technology without any out of pocket costs, or whatever, running a local instance would be very appealing.

            I haven’t been able to relate to the strength of argumentation (in some discussions) that somehow renting is a flawed activity, or a sign of a shortcoming in OpenSim, or a shortcoming in the user’s approach to the technology. There are different approaches for different value propositions and it’s remarkable that OpenSimulator lends itself to the two approaches of using a host service or doing it DIY.

          • 1derworld

            That $20 you mention is for a single region maybe if your lucky a 2×2. For myself I want 100’s of regions for that $20 you mention. Can not get that on a hosted grid. Opensims is simple enough to run on just about anything in a home. All basic stuff and these days its just Download and press a few buttons.

          • lmpierce

            Yes, it sounds like running your own OpenSim instance makes sense, which I’ve acknowledged as advantageous in some circumstances… of course. However, most users find one region a lot to fill and make use of. So, again, the advantage of renting is for most users – my point is outside of your example, and the benefits I proposed are not applicable to your circumstances, because, as you say, no service offers the access to the 100’s of connected regions that you desire. In other words, you really *must* self-host to achieve the scale you’re looking for. It’s like a homeowner with 20 acres, who needs a totally different approach to grounds management than to an apartment renter who probably does nothing (and doesn’t want to do anything) regarding the upkeep of the landscaping. In the latter case, the rent includes an amount that goes towards hiring gardeners, although most renters could easily be taught to ‘mow and blow’.

          • JozeeTungsten

            Just one more kick at the expiring horse: I pay a lot for power and I have a bad internet connection (10 mb down .8 up); whatever I run out of my living room will always be sub-standard.

          • If you are a content creator the most important issues IMO is who controls the asset database, and not who runs the simulators and network connection. Unless you can get sufficient control of the asset database in a rental agreement, doing it your own may make better sense.

    • Han Held

      I have been asked many times to join this commercial grid or that
      commercial grid. I always turn such requests down. My moto is simple,
      “if you don’t control it, you don’t own it.” Why people want to entrust
      their inventories, regions, OARS etc to third party grids is beyond me.[/quote]
      Even though I can understand why people might want someone else to handle security and other IT issues so that they can focus on creating their regions/estates …I feel you. The reasons you state are exactly why I take the risks I take and simply run my own grid.

      https://cdn.meme.am/instances/500x/63139515/dr-evil-meme-the-cloud-aka-someone-elses-computer.jpg

      • lmpierce

        As far as locus of control goes, we all have some vulnerabilities in the world. For example, I let the bank handle my savings. Now by comparison, the value of my OpenSim assets is all but zero compared to my savings. So, last month I was the victim of ATM fraud, and someone withdrew $1000 from my bank account (somehow, from another city). However, because I use a bank (and not a home safe), the bank replaced the money and I’m back where I was.

        The service I use for my virtual worlds does have redundancy at the host, plus I can and do make OAR backups. I create all my own content, and back that up locally. There is nothing that I do in virtual worlds that would be more secure and more under my control if I used a DIY approach than using a good host. Total control of anything is an illusion in any event.

        So, my thinking is that a good hosting service is an excellent way to go, hands down. And, DIY is fine for those who enjoy doing it. How interesting that with this technology we have a choice! Why do there need to be harsh value judgements of one approach versus the other?

        But the rub is, one must choose a good hosting service. Otherwise, as with any other facet in life, making a poor choice can magnify vulnerabilities… And that concern over quality of choice applies to the friends we choose, the doctors we trust and the places where we walk at night – examples of areas of life where the consequences of poor choices are far more serious than anything that happens in virtual worlds.

        • An interesting take but a bit circular. Straddling all possibilities is damn straight fun (well Roman chariots always made my siblings wince – was a few years until I understood why).
          ‘Vulnerabilities’ nice touch. Friend of family recently go re-ripped off because – well, at 80+ and tough as nails with a flight simulator addiction he is allowed 🙂 And the cc involved sorted it out. Big protective covering worked.

          I like the multiple choice options I have and yes it does include commercial.
          But have to say – the day there are streets in the cities I have lived in over the years where I do no dare walk down then you can put me to bed with a shovel.

          • Fanny

            Oh dear, we seem to have a random text generator posting messages now…..

          • lmpierce

            Hey Fanny, thanks for suggesting that…. I’ve read comments of all kinds, but this one really left me scratching my head!

  • Pamella Easton

    I simply left Genesis Metaverse because the owners are irreducible and headstrong people.
    The paypal in my country is not allowed to receive donations or foreigner money transfer anymore due to Central Bank rules, and we just can receive payments. That’s simple. Nevertheless GMV’s grid refused to send my money as payment saying this is illegal in USA… Oh come on… all the other grids have done it without any problem and legally and only him
    refuses and so I had to ask a friend to help me taking a whole life
    money in there to another grid and them transferring to paypal,
    otherwise they would keep my money forever. It was a pity because I
    liked to be there, but as I did, lots of people are leaving because of the owner’s stupidity.