The idea of a virtual marketplace is no longer new--companies like Second Life have already proven the viability of creating money out of nothing. Last year,
Second Life's user-to-user transactions topped $567 million in real U.S. currency and their users, known as residents, cashed out $55 million in real Second Life earnings. That's a whole lot of moolah. So should anyone be surprised that Facebook wants
to get on the money train by creating their own virtual currency? And if Facebook succeeds, who will be next?
My best guess - Apple - and not just because of my ongoing love affair with the Mac. But rather, because of the interconnected and multi-pronged world that is Apple. With iTunes, iPod, iBook
and of course the iPad. Apple has a deeply entrenched and loyal community of millions (maybe billions) from which to build a virtual currency that could potentially be used by more people than currently live in several mid-sized nations. A community that
is already well established and primed to adopt not only the latest technology but also the latest consumer behaviors. Moreover, it is a group that spans both the individual consumer market as well as the high-dollar corporate one - a fact that could rapidly
translate into really big money not only for Apple but also for the application developers and financial institutions that would be needed for it to achieve success with a virtual currency.
So if Facebook succeeds and then some organization like Apple also decides to get on board the virtual money train - the possibilities may be endless. One day soon, we may all wake up and find that instead of the EURO, Dollar and Yen, our paychecks are coming
in the form of the Apple, the Facebook or the Kia currency. Who knows maybe one day, I'll be able to use "Tracy" dollars for my next MAC upgrade. I only need a couple of million followers to make it happen; right?