China Has Growing Monetary Concern
By Israel Rivers,
President, Barter of America
We thank Mr. Rivers for sending us the following story on virtual
a fundamental level, all money is virtual. (If it�s no longer tied
to a precious physical product like gold, that is�but then, what
currency is, nowadays?) At root, its worth depends on the value a
group invests in it...whether it�s made of paper, metal, or binary
code. That fairly abstract principle is becoming more apparent to
people, and ironically, it has taken the growing popularity of
online worlds to make it a practical reality.
a genuine concern for the Chinese government, which now fears that
the QQ is deflating the official yuan. QQ is the virtual currency
created by Tencent, China�s largest instant messaging platform,
based in Shenzen. Originally, Tencent sold QQ as a fun way for
customers to purchase online games, greeting cards, and so on.
the service became more popular, many started treating it as an
alternative to the yuan...using it to, for example, bet in
gambling games and purchase online sex (IM a QQ-girl). The expanding
trade in QQ is so worrisome to Chinese officials they�re issuing
warnings against its unauthorized use.
�The QQ coin is challenging the status of the renminbi [yuan] as the
only legitimate currency in China,� the Asia Times quotes
public prosecutor Yang Tao.
with China�s virtual gold farms, it�s easy to see this as a future
international trend in the making. All three next generation
consoles�Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, and Sony PS3�include microcurrency
systems and, like the QQ, are designed for purchasing games and
other products from their online networks.
with tens of millions of players who find value in these virtual
currencies, what�s to stop them from using it for purchasing other
goods and services from each other? And given the volatility of real
money, should they be stopped?