Tag Archives: second life

Bitcoins – the missing link?

A concept that has intrigued me for many years, is a lifestyle combining the simplest of permaculture living with the absolute “bleeding” edge of technology. An eco-village (real or virtual) where we grow our own food, generate our own power and educate our children, free from the pressures and interference of big governments and rampant consumerism.

Now its easy to give up the day job, sell the house and cars and buy a piece of land in the country, but where will the money come from to feed, clothe, educate and protect your family? How will you afford healthcare? Many folk like me, with some web-based income, will find it easier to adapt, but what we cannot do without, is high speed Internet connectivity and the ongoing means to sell our wares online.

Once you have an online business up and running, the reality of payment options rears its head. I have fiddled with PayPal, credit cards and direct deposits over the years but the manual interventions required at almost every step makes the income earned not worth all the admininstration involved.

I started researching online virtual currencies a few months ago with a view to adapting my business model to a wholly online experience. With the recent financial upheavals in Europe I realised that governments and banks could not be trusted with our money and although online currencies where fraught with growth pains, they offer a welcome break from the traditional financial model.

Over the next few months I am going to re-visit my dreams of an eco-village, start another web business helping folk earn an income online and move all my payment options to virtual currencies, namely Bitcoin.

My ebooks book can now be paid for with Bitcoins.

Aquaponics – The Synaptoman way

If you’d like to trade in virtual currencies, including Bitcoins and SLL (Second Life Lindens) pop over to  VirWoX

To buy or sell Bitcoins, go to Mt.Gox and open an account.

Enough for now.



But is it REAL?

A Dutch teenager has been arrested for allegedly stealing virtual furniture from “rooms” in Habbo Hotel, a 3D social networking website.

For any of my readers older than 14 out there, let me explain. In virtual worlds like Habbo Hotel and Second Life you can buy “virtual” goods (clothes, furniture, weapons etc.) from the web site or from virtual designers who make a (very good) living designing these things. Although the goods themselves are “virtual”, the money you pay for them is real, hence the arrest.

This particular case involved a virtual thief luring unsuspecting users to a fake Habbo Hotel website and stealing their user name and password. Once he was in possession of this information he logged in the victim and “gave” the goods to his own avatar. In banking terms the thief would log on as a bank client and transfer all the funds to his own account.

This is not the first case of virtual theft reported. In fact even “real” murder has been committed in response to a virtual crime.

In 2005 a Chinese gamer was stabbed to death in a row over a sword in a game.

Shanghai gamer Qiu Chengwei killed player Zhu Caoyuan when he discovered he had sold a “dragon sabre” he had been loaned.

There are even law suits pending between users of Second Life who are suing each other, and Linden Lab, the owners of Second Life, for copyright infringement relating to virtual designs “stolen” by users.

The Washington Post explains: In Second Life, more than nine million users spend many real hours and lots of very real money to clothe, feed and comfort their avatars. According to Linden Labs, proprietors of the virtual environment platform where all this craziness takes place, users cumulatively conduct transactions totaling more than $1 million each day. That’s real dollars — the kind you can use to clothe, feed and comfort yourself in the real world.”

And just one last word of advice. If you do steal a virtual chair, just make sure it’s big enough for your virtual ass.


Enjoy your weekend.