All approved Gloebits merchants can now, from Saturday, withdraw their in-world proceeds through PayPal.
The cash-out limit of 5,000 Gloebits is also going up, based on the merchant’s transaction history and level of identity verification.
Cash-out limits will continue to rise in the future, Gloebits CEO Christopher Colosi told Hypergrid Business.
“As time goes by, we’ll need higher and higher limits, and the system is now in place for that,” he said. “The next couple of steps on that latter will be $50 and $100 per month for a 30-day rolling limit.”
To get a raise in limit, a merchant should be close or have hit the limit. It means, for instance, a merchant who is trading only five dollars per month cannot just get a raise by requesting it, Colosi said.
“It adds risk to everyone without providing any additional value, he said. “If they were expecting a big uptick in business, we’d work with them on that, of course, but generally that doesn’t happen over night.”
The company has been using information from its payment processors to verify identity information provided, but will need to do additional identity verification when higher amounts of money are involved both for security and taxation purposes.
“For US users, for instance, at some point we may need them to fill out a W-9 form for tax reporting, but there may not be a need to ask a merchant doing $40 of business a month to fill that out,” he said. “This is a constantly changing space, so I can’t tell you what we’ll do at what limits, but for a merchant who moves up above $1,000 per month, perhaps it’s worth it for us to send them though a third-party identity verification service which charges us $40 per person. Or maybe we’ll stick to our own, less expensive mechanisms. If we keep fraud low in our system, we keep costs low for everyone. That’s our goal.”
The company is also working on improving functionality, such as the “Buy Currency” button in OpenSim viewers, reducing the amount of messages and notifications sent in-world to users on Gloebits-enabled regions, and improving the website.
A “Buy Currency” button appears on the viewer on a Gloebits-enabled region when users authorize Gloebits, but the button is currently not working. Gloebits developers are now working on it, said Colosi, but it will require some cooperation from the rest of the OpenSim developer community.
“We get asked to make this work, and this process has a lot of challenges, and we hope that the core and viewer teams will work with us to redesign it at some point,” he said.
Reducing messages sent to users
Gloebits is also working to reduce messages that users get on every new session on a Gloebit-enabled region since many users don’t want these messages to appear all the time.
However, because many users are still asking for support or help with authorizing avatar accounts for Gloebits and with loading and other issues, it means these messages are still needed, especially while the “Buy Currency” button issue is being resolved, said Colosi.
“The only place they can currently get these messages on demand is by clicking on their balance, but they have no way to know that,” he said. “Ideally, when they try to purchase something, they would get our messaging, but this purchase runs through the ‘Buy Currency’ flow which we can’t intercept. So, we’ve done the best we can to reduce spammy messages, but keep things easy for users.”
Boost in-world instructions and images
Many grids want to provide in-world instructions and imagery to their users to make them know that they are using Gloebits. They are using in-world billboards, internal messaging, and links to the Gloebit website.
“It is great to see grid owners working so hard to provide the best possible experience for their users, so we love these questions,” he said. “We don’t yet have affiliate logs and builds, but we’ll work on that. Many of the grids have put together their own displays in the meantime. ”
More grids using Gloebits
Activity involving Gloebits is increasing, although that varies from grid to grid. For example there is less activity and fewer transactions on about six grids that are not using Gloebits as their major currency but only on some regions, and on three others that are still testing Gloebits, according to Colosi.
ZanGrid now has more than 20 regions and 50 stores enabled for Gloebits and more than 50 merchants. The Great Canadian Grid, has 26 merchants so far and three Gloebit mall regions now and is testing use of Gloebits at the Gloebit Malls. The grid is setting free malls for any creator who wishes to have a store and wants to sell items at the grid. TanGle Grid is using Gloebits on its Gloebitville and EXPO Isle Var regions.
3rd Life Grid has two Gloebits enabled shopping regions with 64 shops in total and the shops are available for hypergrid creators from any grid.
Virtual Worlds Grid has not enabled Gloebits, but they will be doing in depth research to find out if Gloebits will be used in the future before enabling, grid owner Myron Curtis told Hypergrid Business, since it’s had a bad experience with another multi-grid currency.
“I am still unhappy with how Open Metaverse Currency was forced out of service by the development team without the courtesy of even surveying the grid owners to determine the impact of that action, and I am looking for ways that currency can be added without being jeopardized by someone’s personal attitude,” he said.
Grids are improving integration
Mobius Grid has enabled Gloebits grid-wide, and it comes with all rented regions, owner Shawn Corr — also known as Serra Royale in-world — told Hypergrid Business.
Great Canadian Grid has put in place an ATM to make it easy for merchants to use Gloebits, grid owner Roderick MacDougall told Hypergrid Business.
“Our Gloebit regions have been tested and working great,” he said. “I have gotten together with Chris [Colosi] and Linda Kellie who is back with her new ClutterFly region and the three of us put together a simple ATM build for each Gloebit region to make it a little easier for others to use. They should have malls on them by the end of this week for creators grid wide and the metaverse.”
The grid is now setting up free malls for any creator from the grid or from any other grids around OpenSim, who want to sell items.
“I have appointed Kristin Nightfire as our contact who you need to get in touch with for a free store at the Gloebit Malls,” said MacDougall.
ZanGrid is using billboards to make their customers aware that they can use Gloebits. The grid is also the Google Plus HyperShopping community, where they post all news and things related to Gloebits, as well as advertisements.
Many people are starting to see the benefits of using Gloebits after some hesitation in using it, and the grid is getting more orders on of Gloebit enabled regions, grid owner Suzan Koning-Moennink told Hypergrid Business.
“Because Gloebits are more and more accepted and people do notice that they are easy to handle the moment you signed up and also because merchants do get more real money for a Gloebit compared to other money exchanges, I think it will spread all over OpenSim,” she said. “And more and more malls will open. Shopping will be easy and accessible for everyone in OpenSim.”
TangleGrid dipped its toes into Gloebits on their Gloebitville region, to see how people would react to the currency, and they have a good feedback so far.
The grid now plans to use it on the Expo Isle regions, where regular expositions are held for the benefit of the entire hypergrid community.
That will help merchants who exhibit these events to show off and sell their content, and could help bring more people into these events, grid co-owner Leslie Kling told Hypergrid Business.
“Our future plan is to have a cash out system in place but you would need to be a TanGLe Grid member in order to take advantage of this,” she said. “We want to see how this all works out first before we go ahead with that part of things.”
There is now an ongoing Arts & Photo Expo, which will run through April 30 at Expo Isle, where exhibitors with Gloebit accounts can sell their items. The hypergrid address is tanglegrid.net:8002:Expo Isle.
On 3rd Life Grid, region owners can choose whether they want to use Gloebits or the official 3rd Life Grid LC$ currency.
The Kaz grid has set up a hypergrid shopping area that uses Gloebits. It is called Ginza, and free shops are available. The region has attracted hypergrid visitors to the grid, grid owner Kazuko Yashida told Hypergrid Business.
“Selling in real money is a big leap in OpenSim for any grid,” he said. “I am quietly confident that people will start to use my grid for this. However, Gloebits brings a lot of changes to the OpenSim general philosophy, which is open source and free.”
The hypergrid address is: thekaz.ddns.net:8002:Ginza.
TheKaz is currently a small grid and there is low level of activity with Gloebits transactions, but the grid wants to add more items for sale, which might increase use of Gloebits.
“We are working on this,” said Yashida. “I am also getting quite good at mesh in Blender and want to develop my own line of sailboats.”
The grid has experienced no issues with using Gloebits except for the “Buy” button in the viewer.
The Full Perm 3D Models mall, on the Gnosis grid, sells a wide range of sculpties and meshes to hypergrid users, and is also Gloebits enabled. The hypergrid address is: hg.vandenbrande3ddesign.com:9000.