[Dave Birch] Anthony Cavill coins a neat acronym. He says that money is a Generally-Accepted Medium of Exchange (GAME). That works for me on so many levels, but it also flatters one of my pet theories, which is that we can learn more about the future of money by looking at the World of Warcraft than the World. This is because it’s so much easier to experiment with different technologies in the virtual world. It certainly seems to me that innovation and experimentation is alive and well in virtual finance even if it is an abeyance in actual finance.

NetDragon has launched an affinity credit card “The Peony NetDragon Credit Card” in association with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). The credit card service seems to be more than just some company artwork on a regular credit card. Users can make payments for the game through their mobile phone and the card (helping fight fraud, no doubt), purchase game credits through the card (and get extra bonuses in-game for doing so), and use the card as a regular credit card.

[From NOTED: NetDragon affinity Credit Card (and more) with ICBC – PlayNoEvil Game Security News & Analysis]

One of the key trends in the long-term co-evolution of money and technology is that technology takes what economists would recognise as “stores of value” and makes them tradable, turning them into new mediums of exchange. So technology took my bank account and through cheques, credit cards and the Faster Payments System (FPS) made it easier and easier for me to send fungible chunks of my bank account to willing recipients.There’

There’s another group of people experimenting with new ideas about virtual money at the moment: governments. Their interest in and engagement with the world of virtual money is entirely predictable and is following a well-trodden path.

Less than two years after “strictly forbidding” players of online computer games from making money from trade in virtual currencies, China has announced a 20 per cent tax for such income.

[From FT.com – China U-turn on online money-making]

China, as we have discussed before, has been a particular focus because the scale of the “f/x” market across the virtual world border, but it is also developing national strategies towards virtual worlds, something that seems far off in the West.

Between now and the end of 2010, the CRD, intends to bring 150 million middle-class Chinese people and companies into their virtual world platform.

[From Virtual Worlds News: Exclusive: China’s Grand Virtual Worlds Plan – A First Hand Look]

As the scale of these virtual worlds expands, so the money used inside those worlds

These opinions are my own (I think) and presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public [posted with ecto]

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