In part 6 of our multiverse series, we discuss the business opportunities and compliance challenges of virtual economies
Fictional representations of virtual Worlds such as "Ready Player One" and "The Matrix" usually represent the physical and virtual worlds as separate areas. Characters escape a dystopian, impoverished physical area and enter a separate, utopian virtual area in which they are rich and are important.
Our non-fictional future will not have this dichotomy. One of the main reasons is money. Every virtual world has a virtual economy, and when this virtual economy gets really big, it integrates with our real economy. This is due in equal measure to market forces and government intervention.
This is part six of a seven-part series on virtual worlds with "multiverse". We will examine the dynamics of virtual economies of games, the exchange of virtual assets for real money, the challenges of money laundering and gambling for minors, the compliance infrastructure required for virtual economies, and the challenges of balancing the money supply of a virtual economy.
What differs virtually from "real" is the ability to make money
For many people, the idea of spending time in virtual worlds, piling up game currency and trading goods still sounds like the geeky science fiction hobby of someone who “needs to get a real job”.
Our society measures the value of activities based on their social and economic productivity, and most people don't see virtual worlds as productive places. The more people enjoy virtual worlds and respect people with achievements, the more it is considered socially productive to compete for achievements in these worlds. The more people earn an income from working in virtual worlds, the faster the perception of economic productivity will change.
Virtual worlds are seen as digital extensions of the “real world”, and full-time employment in a virtual multiverse world becomes as normal as someone working in a social media marketing role today.