Real money in a virtual world


Billede_1_2Second life. What can I say? I am seduced and frightened at the same time because of this 3D virtual world. The numbers on the list to the left speak for themselves – the community has many members, who spend and earn a lot of money in Second Life. Even though this is a very virtual world, the the cash flow and the attention it gets is very real.

To be honest I don’t know a lot about this world. But I’ve recently learned some interesting details about Second Life. For example, that Second Life has its’s own currency (Linden$), and that you actually pay commission fee, when you make currency transactions. And that’s just one detail… you can do everything in this world. It’s a new platform for doing business – to present and test new products and ideas before introducng them to the real world. And it’s a place to let people (or their avatars) from around the world participate in virtual meetings.

I went to a seminar at Deloitte friday morning, where Dennis Knowles and Stephan Martinussen from Saxo Bank among others spoke about Second Life and their experiences and thoughts about it. In general, their focus was tax issues arising with the growth of Second Life. It seems that there are many questions still to be answered about which products and services in Second Life that are taxable. And when they are taxable. And in which countries – is it where the supplier is or where the consumer is?

I think the interesting thing is the mere fact, that we start to discuss tax-issues and business opportunities in Second Life. This agenda is a sign that Second Life is here to stay. And what goes on in the real world is gonna continue in Second Life. I think. The question is, how the future looks? Because rules and regulations are apparently not easily transferable into this parallel world. For one, because everybody is anonymous in this world. On the other hand, maybe it’s not all that different, than when the internet became a reality?

Check out the discussions on Second Lifes blog.