SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Last night, Secret Service and FBI agents raided the headquarters of Second Life, seizing all Lindens. Second Life is a sophisticated social-networking tool, better known as a massive, multi-player, online virtual world.
In Second Life, real world people use characters known as avatars to do everything from chatting, to setting up virtual shops to conduct business. Second Life uses its own currency, known as the Linden, in its virtual world.
“There has been growing concern that Second Life is undermining confidence in the U.S. Dollar, by using their competing currency known as the Linden,” said one senior FBI agent, speaking on condition of anonymity.
In the wake of the raid on Bernard von Nothaus’ Liberty Dollar, many observers expected the government to take action against the Linden in a similar manner.
“The problem with the U.S. Dollar has nothing whatsoever to do with our own inflationary policy here at the Fed. The problem is that you have people trading U.S. Dollars for Lindens, to use Lindens as an alternative currency. That represents a very real threat to the stability of the Dollar, and the U.S. economy as a whole,” said Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson weighed in, by talking about the ramifications of virtual world currencies possibly surpassing and replacing the U.S. Dollar.
“From our charts, we can see that the U.S. Dollar is falling against the Linden. If too many people become engrossed with virtual world economies, we could see a downward spiral for the Dollar. Eventually, there could be a situation in which people trade the Dollar for virtual currencies. This could create a trade deficit of sorts between real world goods and virtual world goods, causing our entire economy to get sucked up into a virtual world. Americans could end up standing in virtual bread lines, and living out on virtual streets, facing virtual poverty, in a virtual recession.” said Secretary Paulson.
“How freaky to think about the possibily that a virtual currency could replace the U.S. Dollar,” said GOP strategist, Emma Faye Kerr. Ms. Kerr continued, “If that ever happened, the entire economy would be replaced by a sort of virtual economy, where everybody, including the government, loses connection with the reality-based world. Thank God we have a President that is still in touch with reality, who has decided to take action against the threat of virtual worlds replacing the real world.”
Efforts to get in touch with Second Life founder Philip Rosedale have so far been unsuccessful.