“China’s fastest growing currency isn’t the Yuan, it’s the QQ,” begins an article in the Wall Street Journal talking about a new player in the world’s economy. With the rise of internet use, the online world has almost taken on a life of its own. Now in China the QQ, which began as an online currency to buy things such as ring tones and for online promotions, is big business. According to the article it has risen as much as 70% within the last few weeks.
According to the Chinese government the amount of currency spent on virtual items last year came up to $900 million last year. This number only seems to be getting larger as well. All of this online use of the QQ is starting to make the Chinese government nervous. Online people are starting to accept the QQ for non-virtual good such as CD’s and makeup. Private online chats are accepting this currency and most threatening to the Chinese government, gamblers have started using the QQ as a way to get around Chinese gambling laws.
As I first read this article I was amazed how something like this could happen. Later that week I was introduced to Second Life and saw similar things going on in that virtual realm. As the article states, currency is simply as valuable as the confidence people have in the entity that backs it. Talk about opportunity.