Capital control in SL


As a still relatively new SL citizen, I was shocked to know that there is capital control in SL, just like in RL. As an avatar, I can only buy US$25 worth of credit in my first 3 days, and up to $250 in my first week. Once you reach the first month anniversary, your limit goes up to $5,000 every day, which is quite enough, but still a lot less than if you are a “business user”. Once I max out on buying credit in my SL account, I can only exchange that amount into Linden dollar after 24 hours. Oddly enough, the same capital control applies “twice”, so every RL dollar to Linden dollar transaction takes 48 hours.

This is not too different from transfer HK dollar to RMB – I can exchange up to RMB 20,000 every day, and can only transfer up to RMB 80,000 to my Chinese bank account (which must be under my own name) in a day. So it takes literally forever to move money from HK to China!

Capital control in SL is to “prevent fraud” (according to the SL website), especially protecting the new and uninitiated. Capital control in RL, for RMB at least, prevents excess liquidity and currency speculation, for a currency that is still not freely traded, hence protecting it from unwanted volatility – and preventing it from reaching its “true value” – as most think the RMB should appreciate a lot more from current level?!

So, another case of SL not too different from RL.

Blog — AlanLau Nirvana, April 24, 2009 @ 2:26 am

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