World Stock Exchange: Anshe Chung no threat

Over the weekend, Massively ran a story on the ongoing saga with the Australian-owned World Stock Exchange in Second Life. I contacted Luke Connell (SL: LukeConnell Vandeverre) via IM in-world and asked for further clarification on the ongoing delays with the relaunch. His response was as follows:

[4:19] LukeConnell Vandeverre: Hi, no date yet but we are getting much closer :). Anshe launched her exchange ages ago and it hardly gained any traction in the market. This will be a new launch if she does it again however the market technology hasn’t changed much. I am not focused on her market at all.

If nothing else, Luke Connell is excellent at maintaining his PR line. Chung has comparatively huge financial backing and if her company decided to expand its push into virtual world finance, you’d have to think she’d have some impact on the field. Anshe Chung has been a significant investor in the World Stock Exchange previously so it’ll be interesting to see what future moves play out.

World Stock Exchange communicates after lengthy hiatus

Controversial Australian Second Life resident LukeConnell Vandeverre (RL: Luke Connell) gave an update on the World Stock Exchange, which has been offline since January.

I wasn’t able to attend the live event due to its time although I was offered a preview over the weekend which I also wasn’t able to make. Nobody Fugazi from Your2ndPLace has a scathing critique of the information provided today: “this seemed like a monotone message of desperation with an Australian accent”.

I’m hoping to glean further information in coming days but it’s safe to say that WSE’s future is still far from assured.

Update: the Second Life Herald has also covered the announcement.

World Stock Exchange to continue business

As promised earlier in the week, we managed to catch up with Australia-based CEO of Second Life’s World Stock Exchange (WSE), Luke Connell (Second Life: LukeConnell Vandeverre). I’ve interviewed him a couple of times and the stories always garner a lot of attention.

I need to preface this interview with some kudos for Luke Connell – I IM’d him without notice and he took part in the interview below. Nothing particularly laudable about that. What I found impressive was his agreement for an unedited transcript to appear. As we wrapped up he did ask for the interview to be used as background only, but when I reinforced my intention to publish in full, he agreed. The WSE rightly receives criticism for a lack of transparency in some of what it does but in this case some light has been shed on the thoughts of someone who’s a significant player in virtual world finance. It’s also worth having a listen to the audio announcement currently front and centre on the WSE website as it sets the context for the interview.

If you’d rather not read the whole thing, the main points were:

1. That the WSE is continuing with its current upgrade and intends on reopening as planned.
2. I spent quite a bit of time querying the whole fictional currency argument, to which Luke Connell repeatedly maintained the WSE is a purely fictional exchange. His argument essentially was that if people are investing in virtual stock markets or banks with a view to making real-life profits then there’s a fundamental issue in the way that service has been promoted.

Now for the transcript – the only changes are corrections of spelling:

[20:22] Lowell Cremorne: Hi Luke, happy new year. Was just interested in any comment you had to make on the Linden banking policy – have you got any further clarity from Linden on whether WSE is acceptable or not?

[20:23] LukeConnell Vandeverre: Hi, sure, then turn your speakers on hehe

[20:30] Lowell Cremorne: thanks for that – have had a listen – is it fair to summarise WSE’s view that the new policy doesn’t affect WSE’s operations and that WSE will no longer offer ATM’s with interest

[20:31] LukeConnell Vandeverre: exactly
[20:31] LukeConnell Vandeverre: our WSE ATM will remain
[20:32] LukeConnell Vandeverre: we will no longer be paying interest on deposits from those ATMs

[20:32] Lowell Cremorne: and I know we’ve discussed this many times before but I notice you really emphasise the fictionality of the currencies being traded – can you explain how you intend on ever being profitable if you truly believe that WIC and Linden Dollars are fictional – i.e. I’m assuming you’d never cash out Lindens for US dollars as can occur on the Lindex?

[20:33] LukeConnell Vandeverre: it’s profitable in terms of fictional currency
[20:34] LukeConnell Vandeverre: The WSE has linden dollar and world internet currency profits only
[20:34] LukeConnell Vandeverre: therefore the virtual business does not deal in real currency
[20:35] LukeConnell Vandeverre: if the license to use those currencies were to be no longer exchangeable for real currency then there would be no real currency involved in the process of acquiring fictional currency

[20:36] Lowell Cremorne: but you know as well as I that setting up WSE would have utilised real world funds and therefore there’s a need for a return on investment – how can you possibly claim you’d never cash out Linden Dollars for US dollars?

[20:36] LukeConnell Vandeverre: setting up wse did not utilise real world funds, it was all done with linden dollars
[20:38] LukeConnell Vandeverre: i’m not saying i’ve never sold my licensed right ot use linden dollars, i’m saying that side of the business has nothing to do with the service I provide

[20:38] Lowell Cremorne: but you must have used real world money to buy the island WSE is now situated on?

[20:39] LukeConnell Vandeverre: yes that part is not WSE though, that is Hope Capital Island

[20:40] Lowell Cremorne: i’m not trying to catch you out on anything here – I’m just always fascinated at your absolute adherence to a view that the currency is totally fictional when the tax office, ASIC and pretty much anyone in the sector has the opposite view

[20:40] LukeConnell Vandeverre: they don’t have an opposite view
[20:40] LukeConnell Vandeverre: firstly ASIC made no official statement and neither has the tax department
[20:41] LukeConnell Vandeverre: ASIC is not involved because the WSE is not providing real life investment services or securities services
[20:42] LukeConnell Vandeverre: The ATO will only tax real life income from real currency

[20:42] Lowell Cremorne: ok let’s put this another way – if you were so convinced that the tax office and ASIC don’t have an opposite view then why the concern about ever admitting that the WIC or Linden Dollars traded on the WSE can be used to make real world profits?

[20:43] LukeConnell Vandeverre: what are you talking about
[20:43] LukeConnell Vandeverre: I think its just that there is confusion
[20:44] LukeConnell Vandeverre: What I am saying is this: the WSE and HCL make fictional currency profits

[20:44] Lowell Cremorne: There is definitely confusion – you maintain that everything you do is fictional in nature yet both yourself and anyone making profits from the WSE as an investor can cash out tomorrow in US dollars

[20:45] LukeConnell Vandeverre: the license to use that fictional currency can be sold for real currency just like any other product and then I can receive real currency, that is how the system works
[20:46] LukeConnell Vandeverre: sure you’re buying a right to use the fictional currency (game tokens) and the value of that right is based on an assigned exchange rate and the amount of fictional currency under control at the time the license is exchanged.
[20:47] LukeConnell Vandeverre: if you end up with more fictional currency (game tokens) and there are sufficient buyers for your licensed right to use the currency then you can sell your license
[20:47] LukeConnell Vandeverre: these are simply the terms and conditions that apply, much like an unlimited internet service provider says Unlimited however conditions apply
[20:48] LukeConnell Vandeverre: what is important here is not the license or the real currency exchange, it is how the service is being presented to the customers
[20:49] LukeConnell Vandeverre: We make it clear to our customers who use the services we provide that it is not real, holds no real value and it is not an investment and does not provide investment opportunities
[20:50] LukeConnell Vandeverre: that is being very candid, open and honest to our customers so that they can enjoy the service, and so that they do not claim that they were misled or tricked into thinking it was anything other than what we say it is

[20:50] Lowell Cremorne: well I’d argue it’s all equally important as most people who decide to invest Linden Dollars with you or anyone else tend to realise it equates to real life money they’ve spent – hence the latest Linden Lab policy on banking. I personally would be surprised if virtual stock exchanges don’t in future get a lot more regulation because there’s no more guarantee of keeping your money than the ATM’s that have just been banned

[20:51] LukeConnell Vandeverre: how?
[20:51] LukeConnell Vandeverre: they invested linden dollars in a game not a real market
[20:51] LukeConnell Vandeverre: it’s not a real investment
[20:52] LukeConnell Vandeverre: the only investment they made was when they paid the fictional currency provider for the licensed right to use that currrency knowing full well the terms of service of that currency provider

[20:52] Lowell Cremorne: Because if I invest $50 000 Lindens I automatically do the maths and realise that equates to X Australian dollars. Given entities like the WSE have no real regulation, there’s no reason you can’t close the WSE tomorrow and I lose my money

[20:52] LukeConnell Vandeverre: and buying fictional currency isn’t an investment it is purchasing game to participate in the fictional economy which is a feature of a product provided by linden lab

[20:53] Lowell Cremorne: which is not the way the majority of people tend to see their investment

[20:53] LukeConnell Vandeverre: No need to speculate on why Linden Lab released their policy other than to go by what they said were the reasons, virtual banks have resulted in the loss of linden dollars from residents in the virtual economy and that has a negative impact on the user experience in their virtual world

[20:54] Lowell Cremorne: Absolutely – so from the audio announcement on the site you’re supportive of that and I assume that if/when LL expand regulation to virtual stock exchanges you’ll be supportive of that?

[20:54] LukeConnell Vandeverre: Hang on, you keep saying invest 50,000 lindens? you mean to participate in the WSE?

[20:55] Lowell Cremorne: Yes – say I chose to invest $50 000 Lindens in purchasing shares via the WSE

[20:56] LukeConnell Vandeverre: If Linden Lab feel that fictional stock exchanges are no longer providing a positive impact and a unique service to residents participating in their virtual economy then they would likely release a new policy and the WSE would close, exactly

[20:57] Lowell Cremorne: Although it’d be nice if instead of a ban they proposed some transparency and regulatory mechanisms to protect potential investors – that’d assist both you and investors

[20:57] LukeConnell Vandeverre: Then by spending L$50,000 lindens on the WSE you would be well aware that the WSE makes it very clear it’s not real and not to be used as a real investment opportunity to make money and that if you do it, then you take it upon yourself to take the risk that you may or may not be able to acquire more linden dollars than you started with and that you may or may not be able to sell the license to use them on the currency exchange
[20:59] LukeConnell Vandeverre: there are no guarantees at all that there will be a buyer for your license to use the fictional currency you control but not own

[21:00] Lowell Cremorne: Of course – I was more interested in the fictionality argument but I think we’ve thrashed that one to death 😉

(I then thanked Luke for his time and stated a story would be run this evening etc)

[21:12] LukeConnell Vandeverre: you’re welcome, btw further to your previous article the Office of Fair Trading/Consumer Affairs/ACCC would only investigate an allegation of false or misleading conduct and the World Stock Exchange makes it very clear to the user that it is not real and we do not promote it as a real investment opportunity.

[21:12] Lowell Cremorne: no probs – will add that to the story
[21:12] Lowell Cremorne: bye

[21:12] LukeConnell Vandeverre: OK bye for now

What are your thoughts – do you invest in such exchanges as purely a fictional game playing exercise?

Update: Nobody Fugazi at is running a follow-up story with some interesting allegations.
Update 2: Tateru Nino at Massively has also elaborated on the story.
Update 3: Nobody Fugazi has an interview with Arbitrage Wise from WSE competitor SL Capital Exchange on the Linden banking policy.
Update 4: This post pretty much refutes the whole fictionality argument – fascinating reading.
Update 5: SLNN are querying whether there’s legal action underway against WSE.
Update 6: This blog post by a Senior Economist at the Joint Economic Committee, U.S. Congress poses some interesting questions about Linden Lab’s new policy on virtual banking.

World Stock Exchange faces an uncertain future

After today’s arguably overdue intervention by Linden Lab in regard to virtual banking in Second Life, I dropped by the World Stock Exchange to see what was going on. There was only one other person wandering around and a very short notice from WSE about Linden Lab’s announcement.


The notecard states:

“LL has introduced a new policy on banks. The FAQ says that stock exchanges “may” or “may not” be included in this policy. We are currently investigating how this new policy affects the WSE’s operations and we will update the market once there is more news.

WSE – Management”

The pivotal question is: if WSE is found to be part of the new ruling on virtual banking, how will investors on the exchange get their money back? And all criticisms of the WSE aside, expecting any financial institution to pay out to all investors at once is unfeasible.

Virtual banking – Linden Lab intervenes

Linden Lab today announced that any virtual banking facilities offering interest on Linden dollars deposited would now be banned. Initial reaction from a significant number of residents falls into the ‘about time’ category but like the July 2007 gambling ban the impact on the Second Life economy will be enormous. I’d be surprised if any of the financial providers are able to refund residents’ investments in full which means this decision will have a direct financial impact of a large number of people.

From an Australian viewpoint, the World Stock Exchange will be severely impacted by the move as far as in-world activities – we’ll attempt to get some comment on that throughout the day.

The full announcement:

“Please read this if you operate, or have transferred L$ to, an in-world “bank” or financial company.

As of January 22, 2008, it will be prohibited to offer interest or any direct return on an investment (whether in L$ or other currency) from any object, such as an ATM, located in Second Life, without proof of an applicable government registration statement or financial institution charter. We’re implementing this policy after reviewing Resident complaints, banking activities, and the law, and we’re doing it to protect our Residents and the integrity of our economy.

Since the collapse of Ginko Financial in August 2007, Linden Lab has received complaints about several in-world “banks” defaulting on their promises. These banks often promise unusually high rates of L$ return, reaching 20, 40, or even 60 percent annualized.

Usually, we don’t step in the middle of Resident-to-Resident conduct – letting Residents decide how to act, live, or play in Second Life.

But these “banks” have brought unique and substantial risks to Second Life, and we feel it’s our duty to step in. Offering unsustainably high interest rates, they are in most cases doomed to collapse – leaving upset “depositors” with nothing to show for their investments. As these activities grow, they become more likely to lead to destabilization of the virtual economy. At least as important, the legal and regulatory framework of these non-chartered, unregistered banks is unclear, i.e., what their duties are when they offer “interest” or “investments.”

There is no workable alternative. The so-called banks are not operated, overseen or insured by Linden Lab, nor can we predict which will fail or when. And Linden Lab isn’t, and can’t start acting as, a banking regulator.

Some may argue that Residents who deposit L$ with these “banks” must know they’re assuming a big risk – the high interest rates promised aren’t guaranteed, and the banks aren’t overseen by Linden Lab or anyone else. That may be true. But for all of the other reasons we’ve set out above, we can’t let this activity continue.

Thus, as we did in the past with gambling, as of January 22, 2008 we will begin removing any virtual ATMs or other objects that facilitate the operation or facilitation of in-world “banking,” i.e., the offering of interest or a rate of return on L$ invested or deposited. We ask that between now and then, those who operate these “banks” settle up on any promises they have made to other Residents and, of course, honor valid withdrawals. After that date, we may sanction those who continue to offer these services with suspension, termination of accounts, and loss of land.

We will not apply this policy to companies who submit a registration statement, charter, or other applicable license from a governing regulatory authority, or who are merely conducting marketing or education, but not accepting payments.

You may report a violation of this policy through the Help/Report Abuse feature in your Second Life viewer, and follow the instructions given.”

What are your thoughts? Is this a long overdue intervention or an unwanted intrusion?

WSE closed for up to a month – strange or not?

Over on Your2ndPlace, Nobody Fugazi has done a story on Second Life’s World Stock Exchange (WSE) and its announcement of an up to 30-day closure. I headed over to WSE myself and sure enough was greeted with this:

Auto Greeter: Hello. Lowell Cremorne Welcome to the WSE. As you all know we are upgrading as part of our launch for the WSE 4.0 platform. This is a huge undertaking and we have now entered a phase of development that requires the WSE to close all trading and transactions for “up to” 30 days. As responsible managers and to ensure stability, security and improved services it is important the WSE fix all existing bugs in the website as part of the upgrade. CEO’s will continue normal reporting and announcements during this period. WSE 4.0 includes a new ATM, improved security and functionality along with a new conditional trading system. All WSE Account Holders will earn a bonus 25% p.a. interest during this process. We ask for your patience and apologise for any inconvenience. Kind Regards, LukeConnell Vandeverre


I’d agree with Fugazi’s view that such a long closure is strange and it’s hard not to tie it in with Linden Lab’s recent warning on third-party financial transactions. WSE has a history of sudden closures and each time they have re-opened for business. Here’s hoping this time is no different. I’d also put in a wish for version 4.0 of the new WSE platform to incorporate a little more transparency.

Update: The Second Life Herald have further coverage of the closure, including one fascinating statement: “Vandeverre stated that one of the new functions of the WSE 4.0 is the ability for shareholders of the WSE to vote on the board of directors based on individuals he nominates.”. Ever heard of a real-life CEO telling shareholders what directors they can vote for? If the quote is accurate, such a move will do nothing to ease concerns over WSE’s lack of transparency.

World Stock Exchange lays out roadmap and some history

On Friday I received a notecard in Second Life from the World Stock Exchange. It’s a lengthy piece (replicated below) that provides some insights into future plans. It’s also a dogged adherence by WSE to the belief that the whole operation is for entertainment and educational purposes only and that its currency is purely fictional. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – the so-called fictional Linden currency can be directly converted to US dollars so how does one argue it’s not real? Recent advice sought from ASIC also casts some doubt on such an assertion.

On future plans for the WSE, there’s nothing greatly different than that discussed with Luke Connell in our August 2007 interview – expansion to a model that appeals to non-Second Life residents.

If you’re game, the full notecard’s contents:

WSE Main Trading Hall
Level 3, 1 Hope Capital Island (VOICE ENABLED SIM)


Dear WSE Customer,

You have received this notecard because your avatar has an account with the World Stock Exchange. This notecard has been developed to assist all customers with information about virtual finance in Second Life and in using the WSE and its related products and services. If you do not wish to receive correspondence from the WSE please visit our website and request submit a request to be removed from our mailing list using the form on our contact us/help page.

Please find all the latest news and information related to the WSE below. Remember, this is all about learning, having fun and trying to make a potential fictional currency profit. Never deposit or trade with what you cannot afford to lose and start small so that you can learn and have fun.

I would like to wish you all good fortune and good health moving into 2008 and hope you all have an exciting New Years Eve!

Kind Regards,

LukeConnell Vandeverre,
Chairman & CEO
World Stock Exchange

1. WSE – Past, Present and Future
2. WSE Traders Fund
3. Banks and Exchanges
4. Update on Ginko Financial
5. Update on Midas Bank and Merlin Investment Bank
6. Overview of OurBank Ltd
7. Understanding Fictional Services
8. Understanding Fictional Currency
9. Understanding Risk vs. Reward
10. Understanding the World Internet Currency
11. Second Life Economic Report
12. Second Life Chamber of Commerce
13. How to Create an Account on the WSE
14. What is the Exchange Risk API
15. Request a WSE ATM
16. What is a Company on the WSE
17. How to Buy or Sell Linden Dollars
18. How to Research a Company on WSE
19. How to Trade on the WSE
20. Listing Rules and Constitution
21. How to Contact the WSE
22. Disclaimer

The WSE now has come along way since March 2007 to become the leading internet- based stock exchange system focused on virtual companies operating in Second Life.

I joined Second Life in December 2006 and within the first week I was convinced that virtual worlds with endless possibilities such as Second Life will provide an extended platform to the existing website and over time would provide Internet users with a complete Broadband Entertainment experience. Thanks to the great leadership, innovation and achievements of Linden Lab the creators of Second Life, we have now entered a new era in the technological evolution of mankind which is the virtual world. Second Life and all that it represents is bringing people from around the world closer together and providing a great opportunity for residents to be inspired, learn, collaborate, innovate and to share their knowledge and creativity.

At the heart of most economies is a Stock Exchange and therefore I felt it was the right time to establish a stock market for the Second Life economy.

On the 22 December 2006 Hope Capital Ltd a Second Life based company was nothing more than a vision in a pdf file. Today WSE is the first and leading fully internet-based securities exchange and trading platform based on the virtual world of Second Life. The World Stock Exchange has experienced exceptional growth over the past 10 months and this growth is expected to continue. Second Life and the World Stock Exchange are History in the making and have exceeded all our expectations.

Since being established, the WSE has constantly overcome all challenges it faces while continuing to improve and growing all services to provide users all over the world with a fully interactive securities exchange and trading experience. The WSE has constantly made every effort where possible to improve and develop our services while providing information to allow all stakeholders an opportunity to share in the future growth and prosperity of the World Stock Exchange and virtual world economies such as Second Life.

The WSE has achieved over 26,100 accounts, raised IPO’s over L$129.5 million, WIC$1,800, secondary offers have raised over L$27.1 million, nearly WIC$ 3,000 and had exchange turnover exceed L$519 million.

The WSE is progressing well and has made a significant contribution to economic activity in the virtual economy of Second Life. We have been aggressively cleaning up the market, making sure CEO’s keep the market updated and de-listing any companies that fail to adhere to the WSE Rules and Terms.

We have also been extremely busy developing the very latest version of the WSE Platform – called WSE 4.0 -, which is progressing well and we expect the new website design, layout, functionality and services should be completed by mid-January.

WSE staff is cleaning up the market and preparing the WSE platform for our worldwide launch of the World Stock Exchange to the mass market as the world’s leading internet-based stock exchange platform to be used for educational and entertainment purposes.

The majority of future WSE traders will be general internet users with a browser using the World Internet Currency as their chosen currency for trading on the WSE.

We estimate that trading volume will exceed L$10m per 24 hours with in excess of 50,000 new additional WSE traders participating in the market between now and April 2008.

We ask for your patience and continued support while we complete this final major phase of the WSE’s development and growth.

Every decisions we make or action we take are made in the best interests of the majority of stakeholders at all times. There are times when leaders must make decisions that can lead to some negative consequences in the short term in order for us to make a greater positive impact in the longer term. It is for this reason that the WSE is still operational when many other virtual businesses and banks are not and it is for this reason that the WSE is on the verge of major growth which we hope you will share in with us.

It has always been part of the WSE’s agenda to ensure that all WSE traders whom we class as stakeholders would be indirectly protected as much as possible from the potential ethics-based fraud and misconduct that would come from businesses listing on the WSE during the start-up and development phase which has been an almost entirely unregulated environment in order to cultivate and encourage growth.

The time has now come that we feel there is an improved regulatory environment and sufficient information available to WSE traders in order to help them make informed decisions when trading on the WSE.

The World Stock Exchange Traders Fund (WTF) is a specially designed fund that holds shares or bonds (securities) in companies listed on the WSE on behalf of all WSE account holders who have lost their securities in de-listed companies up to the 19th October 2007 with a few exceptions. All WSE account holders are stakeholders in the World Stock Exchange business. The WSE Traders Fund has been established to ensure that shareholders will get the best possible opportunity to recover any lost linden dollars through the dividends and interest payments from all securities and assets owned by the fund.

Management alone did not make the WSE what it is today and it is through the participation of our customers that the WSE has become what it is today and what it will become in the future.

All securities in previously fraudulent or bankrupt companies that were listed on the WSE have now been transferred to the WSE Traders Fund.

The World Stock Exchange had first-mover advantage in the market and is now a solid start-up operation with a strong brand presence. We are constantly improving and developing the service. Since the WSE was established in March 2007, there have been a few start-up stock exchanges trying to replicate the basic concept and service. However, they have been unable to differentiate themselves or gain traction in the market.

The WSE has over 95% market share and we ask that users express caution when dealing with the recent start-up exchanges as they are operating basic websites and trading platforms with extremely limited functionality compared to that offered by the WSE. Other start-up exchanges lack brand awareness, exposure and have far less transparency, functionality, credibility, liquidity and stability.

Although it is good to have competition in all markets especially those that have matured it is important to remember that in a small emerging economy such as Second Life there is limited liquidity and available capital in the market and as a result it is imperative that we have a large strong solid Stock Exchange and Bank backed by real life people who can pool all its vast resources into continued Research & Development, Growth and Marketing rather than many small operations that are likely fraudulent or scams and simply dilute the precious market that remains.

The WSE does not deal with the start-up exchanges as they have companies that either breached the WSE Rules and Terms or did not pass the WSE Listing Rules. Most of their customers already use the WSE. There is no motivation for the WSE to acquire or merge with a start-up exchange that will not bring any value or growth to the WSE. Eventually, those start-up exchanges will run out of liquidity while the WSE continues to grow and improve which will ultimately result in the financial collapse of those exchanges.

We have also seen a wave of stock exchange and bank start-ups trying to gain a share of the lucrative market through lots of empty promises that try to create the impression of a safer and more regulated trading environment along with offering unrealistic interest rates or by using questionable tactics to acquire customers.

We express caution to all users before considering to use a start-up exchange or banking service.

When you deposit your linden dollars into a virtual bank and pay the ATM, you have given the ATM avatar permission to use those linden dollars in order to hopefully generate a return that would cover interest commitments.

Second Life banks aren’t real-life banks. Their owner is an avatar providing a fictional banking service to residents using a fictional currency and as a result there is risk and no real-life legal protection.

To minimize the risk of losing your linden dollars, use a bank/exchange with:
– A website that provides a terms of service and disclaimers;
– A website providing full transaction history and interest payment records;
– The main business activity being to generate profits to support the bank’s interest commitment to depositors;
– A real-life individual or company operating the bank service. This means their reputation and credibility supports the business;
– An interest rate below 20% per year or less than 0.055% per day;
– No withdrawal limits;
– Continuous innovation and development
– Regular website and service updates.
– Detailed announcements
– Detailed educational resources and help facilities
– Listing Rules, Code of Conduct and a Constitution for companies

Most businesses in Second Life offering a bank service are owned and operated by anonymous avatars offering high interest rates to depositors that are very high-risk and not sustainable.

Many big banks have not been able to generate steady profits from their activities to support the large interest commitments to their depositors. In most cases the bank holds less than 20% or in extreme cases less than 5% of the total deposits in the ATM avatar account for depositors to make withdrawals. This unsustainable business model has resulted in many of the banks holding an insufficient amount of linden dollars in their cash reserves to cover for withdrawals by depositors and has lead to the bankruptcy of these banks with limited to no chance for depositors to recover their deposits.

Most of these banks are set up with little to no accountability and to provide linden dollars to the controlling avatar for recreation and personal use.

The WSE is a fictional securities exchange and banking service using a fictional currency and as a result the only actions that can be taken to protect the interests of the WSE are to lock user accounts and garnish any remaining fictional currency and securities in an avatars’ account that were owned by an avatar that has breached the WSE Rules and Terms. We do not take any legal actions as any breach or fraud related to a fictional service is on an ethical basis only and not illegal according to real-life laws and regulations.

Ginko Financial went into bankruptcy due to holding insufficient cash reserves and was also unable to meet it’s interest commitment to depositors and bondholders.

The WSE agreed to assist Ginko Financial depositors and issued one share in the WSE Traders Fund for every bond in Ginko Perpetual Bonds. (Prior to the formal bankruptcy, Ginko Financial issued one bond in GPB for every linden dollar in deposit at Ginko Financial.)

Merlin Bank and Midas Bank both held insufficient cash reserves and were unable to meet their interest commitment to depositors and went bankrupt.

The cause of the bankruptcy of a bank is not our concern as the WSE is not responsible for the decisions and actions of a bank’s management. The WSE is not obligated in any way to the depositors of third-party banks or the customers of any virtual business controlled by third-party avatars. However, the WSE has a process for situations such as this. The WSE does not transfer control of fictional assets in the WSE to any third party once an avatar is found to have gone bankrupt or breached WSE Rules and Terms.

The WSE locked the bank avatars’ WSE accounts in order to prevent the users from dumping fictional assets on the market, crashing prices or running with additional linden dollars. The WSE then delisted all Midas Group companies and transferred all shareholders, shares and bonds of Midas companies to the WSE Traders Fund. Shareholders of the WSE Traders Fund own former Midas assets, not HCL or the WSE. The WSE requested the CEO of Midas Bank to provide the WSE with a full list of former Midas Bank depositors and their account balances so that the WSE could issue shares to depositors in the WSE Traders Fund. However, this request was denied by the CEO of Midas Bank.

A former executive at Merlin Bank has supplied the WSE with a list of depositors and their balances. The WSE will issue shares in the WSE Traders Fund to all former Merlin Bank depositors.

OurBank Ltd is a fully integrated banking service operating on the World Stock Exchange platform. The current interest rate provided is 15.95% p.a. ( per annum / yearly), calculated daily and paid once every 14 days. This is a realistic rate supported by the solid profits of the WSE.

Features include:

– No withdrawal limits on user balances;
– Interest calculated daily;
– Interest paid once every 14 days;
– Online Transaction and interest payment records.

All fictional services provided by the World Stock Exchange are an imaginative creation in a simulated exchange, trading and banking environment that are without basis in reality and hold no legal monetary or asset value.

Fictional currencies (Money, Currency, Cash, Dollars, Capital, Funds) are used as game tokens and have no monetary value of themselves and are therefore not directly taxable as income in real-life. Using the Linden Currency (Linden Dollar, LND$, L$, Lindens) is subject to the Terms of Service provided by Linden Research, Inc. located at and using the World Internet Currency (WIC, WICS, W$) is subject to the Terms of Service of WIC Exchange Pty. Limited. located at

Risk is related to the potential losses resulting from a risky event and to the probability of such an event. The larger the potential loss and the more likely the event, the greater the overall risk.

Fundamental rule: The greater the amount of risk, the greater the potential return.

Potential risks in the virtual and real markets include:
– Losing the money you invest (your principle/capital);
– Currency movements or changes in the Terms of Service by fictional or real currency providers may affect or remove any value;
– Low liquidity in the market or economy may result in slow sales or no sales due to the lack of buyers;
– Other risks may include credit risk, information timing and source risk, management, operational, start-up, legal or regulatory risks.

The World Internet Currency (WIC, WICS, W$) will bridge the gap between the real and virtual world by allowing the majority of the internet users to trade and invest on the WSE. The WIC offers more flexibility and freedom, no buy limits and less fees.

Second Life was established in 1999 by San Francisco-based software company Linden Research, Inc. – better known in Second Life as Linden Lab, commonly abbreviated to LL. Second Life has experienced extraordinary growth since late 2006 as it gained increased attention from media coverage around the world. There are now over 11 million resident accounts, of which over 91 thousand are premium accounts, spending an average of more than three hours per month inworld. Resident linden dollar balances exceeded L$3.5 billion in the end of September 2007 which at an exchange rate of 265 / US$1.00 has a potential US dollar value of approximately USD$13.2 million. 2007’s Second Life annual GDP is estimated to exceed L$130 billion linden dollars which would equate to approximately USD$ 500 million, which is more then that of about 10 real-world countries!

In September 2007, the top five countries by active residents were the United States, Germany, Brazil, Japan and the United Kingdom. Over 88% of active users were between 18 – 44 years of age.

– A total of 1,496,322 residents logged in to Second Life during the 60-day period prior to December 7th 2007;
– At the end of November 2007, there were 563 new regions added bringing the total number of regions to over 11 thousand. Each region is made up of 65,536 square meters of virtual land and is simulated on a single CPU;
– A total of 71,564,912 square meters sold by residents in the month of November 2007 with the average price paid per sqm at L$6.30.

The Second Life Chamber of Commerce (SLCC) is the peak representative body for business professionals in Second Life. It is a registered group in Second Life run by its members for its members to provide career development, networking and training.

The SLCC holds regular events in Second Life including popular topics of interest to the business and investment community. The knowledge gained from events held by the SLCC aims assist members in both real life and Second Life. Some of the events already held by the SLCC included speakers from real-world and virtual world business. Recent speakers included Andrew Mallon, Executive Director at the non-profit, real-life Social Research Foundation.

You can join the Second Life Chamber of Commerce by searching the group in the Second Life search feature or by requesting an invitation to the group from MouzurX Wise, Erik Goff or Sven Cordoso.
*Please note that SLCC group IM and group voice features may not be used for advertising of your business without permission.

If you are a Second Life resident you can create an account from within Second Life to use your linden dollars. Click the landmark in this notecard and visit the WSE ATM. Wait until all objects around you have loaded then click the WSE ATM and select “Reset Pwd” . The ATM will give you a password which you can change once you have logged in to the WSE website, To log in, use your avatar name and (ATM-supplied) password.

To deposit Linden Dollars L$ into your WSE Account simply right click on the WSE ATM using your right mouse button and then select “Pay”. Enter the amout to deposit and then select Pay.

To check your balance select the WSE ATM and then select “Balance”. Your balance will dispaly in the chat window using a private channel.

To withdraw linden dollars from your WSE Accountselect the WSE ATM and then select “Withdraw”.Enter the amount to windraw on the number pad and then select “Ok”.

The Exchange Risk API has been developed by Linden Lab as part of an overall plan to minimize and remove fraud and similar malicious activity related to the Linden Dollar fictional currency. The Exchange Risk API allows the World Stock Exchange to receive the result of Linden Lab’s determination of the risk associated with the purchase of Linden Dollars in a particular transaction. The Exchange Risk API uses the same risk assessment factors that Linden Lab uses for LindeX. If the Exchange Risk API sends a high risk result to the WSE for a transaction then the WSE system will cancel the transaction and will not accept payment. This may prevent a user from depositing Linden Dollars into the WSE. If a user is unable to deposit they can submit a help ticket via the WSE website for further information.

If you would like a WSE ATM in your shop, office, estate or building please add “Wse Huet” as a friend in Second Life and send her a teleport request when she is online. Wse Huet is online on Tuesday’s at around 5PM PST

A company or entity on the World Stock Exchange is a business operating in a virtual world such as Second Life. The Entity is a registered group conducting transactions using fictional currency to generate a profit and which is controlled and operated by a resident using their main Avatar or a dedicated Avatar for all business transactions. Many avatars choose to remain anonymous and to keep their real life identity confidential.

The controlling avatar is the founder/owner of an entity on the WSE and is required to act as the chief executive officer of the entity also known as a company and to adhere to the WSE Terms of Service, Constitution, Market Rules and Listing Rules.


You can buy or sell Linden Dollars using the Lindex by Second Life located here:

You can also buy or sell linden dollars by creating an account on SL Exchange (

Once you have created an account on SL Exchange you can visit the following link to purchase linden dollars:

Since you as the WSE Trader and Investor are solely responsible and accept full risk for your own decisions, trades and investments it is very important that you do due diligence and research companies using all available information in order to minimize risk and increase the potential to profit and generate a return on investment.

To research a listed company on the WSE simply click the Research button located on the top menu of and then select the company name to view the Company Profile page. On the Profile page you can view financial reports, announcements, market data, ratings, analyst reports, charts and more. You can also contact the CEO of each business with questions using Second Life or by email. You can also check the CEO’s avatar profile to find out what classified ads the CEO has along with information about the CEO, their group memberships and any favorite landmarks they may have.


About Shares, Stocks and Bonds:
A person buys Shares, Stocks or Bonds called securities in order to see an increase in the value (known as a capital gain) while also holding on to the securities over 3, 6 or 12 or more months in order to receive dividends (A share of the Profit) or bond interest paid by the company either monthly, quarterly or annually.

A bond is a debt security in which the buyer of the bold acts as the lender and the issuer of the bond is the borrower. Bonds act as a corporate loan and usually have a defined term consisting of fixed interest payments after which the bond is redeemed by the issuer on the maturity date for the principal amount.

A share or stock is an equity security in which you own a share of the company and as a result are entitled to your share of the companies earnings (profit) as well as voting rights if specified by the constitution. Being a shareholder of a public company does not mean you have a say in the day-to-day running of the business. Instead, depending on the constitution and type of shares owned shareholders will have one vote per share to elect the board of directors and vote on any proposals put forward by the company CEO.

The management of a company are supposed to increase the value of the company for shareholders. In real life if this doesn’t happen, the shareholders can vote to have the management removed however individual investors like you and I don’t own enough shares to have a material influence on the company. It’s really high net worth individuals, banks and large institutional investors who make the decisions

In Second Life this is slightly different as you can’t sack the management or the founding avatar, however you can ask the WSE to meet with the company’s management to discuss ways of improving their business while also selling your Shares or Stock (At a Profit) as another way to display your unhappiness with management decisions.

For more information about shares please visit:

Making a Deposit:
To buy securities on the World Stock Exchange you will need to deposit your fictional currency into your WSE trading account. You can use the Linden Dollar Currency (Lindens) or World Internet Currency (WICS)

In-World ATM right click on the ATM and select “Pay” then enter the amount of Lindens you would like to deposit. The Lindens will be instantly credited to your WSE Linden Trading Balance. If your avatar account does not have any Lindens you will need to buy your Lindens from the LINDEX located at

How to Buy and Sell (Trading) on the WSE
Login to and then select the “Trading Room” button on the top navigation menu. First select the companies you would like to add to your Watchlist so that you can view real-time price movements along with volume details. To buy securities in a company select the company code (symbol) or select a company in the drop down list and then select “Trade”.

Once you are looking at the Order Entry page scroll down the page to view the Top 10 Open Sell and Buy Orders. You can buy securities immediately from any sell orders using the “Market Buy” feature or you can place a Buy At-Limit order to specify the maximum price per share you are willing to pay. If you select Buy at Market make sure you have checked to see what the current Open Sell Orders are so that you can estimate what price per security you will pay.

To sell securities on the WSE immediately you will need to enter the amount that you want to sell and price per security listed in the Open Buy Orders list so that the system will match your sell order with current open buy orders instantly. If you do not want to sell to the current buy orders then you can specify a higher price per security using the Sell At Limit order. You can place a sell order in either currency however you will receive the buyers chosen currency. The WSE charges a fictional currency commission to the seller of 3% on the sale of all securities such as shares and bonds.)

We would like to remind WSE Traders that the objective of investing is to buy low, hold and sell high. This means buying securities at the lowest possible price you can, hold them in order to generate dividend income (share of company profits) or interest payments over the longer term and to sell your securities for more than you paid. If you need to exit your position in order to access your fictional currency or to reposition your portfolio then sell at a price per security that minimizes any potential loss from selling below your original cost.

– Listing Rules governs the admission of an entities to the official list, quotation of securities, suspension of securities from quotation and removal of entities from the official list. They also govern disclosure and some aspects of a listed entity’s conduct.

– Market Rules govern the conduct of all participants in the market including company officers, companies, traders, investors and all accountholders.
– The Constitution governs the internal management of any company listed on WSE

The WSE has inworld customer service provided by the WSE Concierge team. If concierge are unavailable or if you have feedback, a proposal, technical issues or wish to close your account you can contact the WSE Help Desk on the Help page of or by going to . A WSE Concierge will contact you within 72 hours.

The World Stock Exchange (WSE) is a Fictional Securities Exchange and Banking service developed for educational and entertainment purposes and is not a real life securities exchange and bank. You are receiving this notecard because you have an account on the WSE, if you wish to close your account or do not wish to receive future communication from the WSE then please send a request to close your account using the WSE website.

This notecard does not provide individual or customized legal, tax, or investment services and advice. We make no guarantees as to the accuracy, quantity or quality of the information on this notecard, which is provided only on an AS-IS and AS AVAILABLE basis at Users sole risk. The WSE, Hope Capital and all related parties shall not be responsible or liable for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies in this notecards content.

The WSE does not use real currency and only operates using fictional currencies called (Linden Dollars) and (World Internet Currency). Using the Linden Currency is subject to the Terms of Service by Linden Research Inc. located at and using the World Internet Currency is subject to the Terms of Service by WIC Exchange Pty Limited located at . The World Stock Exchange is owned and operated by Hope Capital Pty. Ltd, Australia. By visiting and using the this website titled World Stock Exchange and located at you are accepting and agree with the WSE Terms of Service (“TOS”). Hope Capital and World Stock Exchange are registered trademarks of Hope Capital Pty. Ltd, Australia. Second Life and Linden Lab are registered trademarks of Linden Research Inc.”

If you’ve got this far then surely you have an opinion – make it known here!

Legality of virtual stock exchanges – ASIC makes a call

Massively’s Tateru Nino has written about the legality of virtual stock exchanges, including Second Life’s World Stock Exchange run by Australian Luke Connell.


ASIC is Australia’s financial market watchdog and their view on virtual stock exchanges is that they don’t fall under their purview – but that Fair Trading entities may scrutinise any claims of such markets being touted as only a game. As Tateru states in her piece, “There’s no real difference, of course, in a bank or stock exchange that deals over the Web, over the telephone or in a virtual world”. It’s hard to see the logic in the opposing viewpoint, however it appears that some virtual exchanges have a vested interest in claiming it’s all a game. It’s increasingly appearing that such a claim isn’t even a defence from a legal viewpoint.

World Stock Exchange facing legal problems?

The Second Life Herald are running a story on the Midas Bank saga, alleging that Midas have done some legal investigations around their issues with the World Stock Exchange, run by Australian Luke Connell (LukeConnell Vandeverre).


If the issues aren’t resolved and things do go legal, it’ll provide a fascinating test-case for the status of finance in virtual worlds and associated governance policies. We’ve stated numerous times that the state of financial regulation in Second Life is farcical and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight at this stage.

I attempted to catch up with Vandeverre in-world this afternoon for comment but his status was set to Away for the 30 minutes or so that I waited around.

World Stock Exchange – the latest controversy

I noticed on SL that the World Stock Exchange (WSE) run by Australian, LukeConnell Vandeverre, is subject to controversy again.


A virtual financial company called Midas Group has declared bankruptcy and alleges that WSE is part of the cause due to not paying a bond payment. There’s been calls made for WSE boycotts and much more.

What this latest drama reinforces is the fundamental problem with the unregulated financial system in SL – why would any serious investor look at a system where there’s no regulation and multiple stock exchanges that publicly criticise each other’s viability? One of the main value propositions of Second Life is it’s freedom, but this is one area where too much freedom may be one of the virtual world’s major pitfalls.

Previous Posts