Danish online investment bank Saxo is establishing an office in Second Life and plans to offer residents the ability to manage real life portfolios from within the virtual world. The bank says it may also eventually create a market to trade the virtal Linden dollar against real world currencies.
Saxo says its virtual office is staffed by its own avatars and features a meeting space, a live trading game for visitors and an auditorium that will eventually be used for delivering live trading symposia and training modules for visitors.
Once the heaadquarters has been established Saxo plans to expand its presence in the Second Life universe to include the development of a user interface - called VirtualTrader that will allow avatars to access real world trading accounts from Saxo's Second Life headquarters.
VirtualTrader will also feature an option for customers to receive some of their trading profits in virtual Linden dollars.
Saxo says may also eventually offer virtual trading in a US dollar/Linden dollar cross from Second Life.
Stephan Martinussen, head of product development, Saxo Bank, says Second Life is one of several outlets the bank is using to explore the future of online trading.
"As an investment bank whose presence is predominantly online, it's natural for Saxo Bank to explore potential and evolving avenues for online trading," he explains," says Martinussen. "Second Life is quickly gaining a reputation as not just a marketplace - but a whole virtual economy where capital markets are taking shape in a contained environment. It's exciting to experience a hothouse like this first-hand."
Last month Dutch financial services group ING said it had created a virtual community - called ourvirtualholland - in Second Life. Residents of the virtual state will be able to set up a new business, build their own housing and design new products.