Betting On Second Life Stock Exchanges

wse.jpgAfter the recent ban on gambling, Second Life residents have had reduced opportunities on where spend their hard earned (or bought) Lindens (the Second Life in-world currency).

The world of share trading, regarded by some to be actually worse than gambling, has started to make its presence felt in Second Life. I went undercover (see picture) to see if good money could be made.

First Impressions

The World Stock Exchange (WSE) sits on its own Second Life island in a shiny multi-story edifice that just says money.

The trading floor on the third floor presents an initial lobby that includes an ATM machine (players must deposit money to trade stocks), rule boards and advertising for a bank that offers 15.75% PA. Walking through the lobby players are presented with a lounge area and customer service desks. There is usually a WSE representative on hand to assist with inquiries.

No In-world Trading

The trading floor itself is a misnomer as players are unable to trade via the Second Life interface. Company listing boards and IPO information all lead through to the WSE website. A video viewing area is surrounded by price quote boards, although the space sorely lacks a traditional style transaction ticker.

The WSE website is simple enough.. The trading room page allows players to buy or sell shares, with Limit Ordering also available. General information is provided about companies, as well as stock price history and recent trades.

Can You Make Money Though?

There is only one way to find out. After perusing the 30 odd listed companies I made a number of investments which I may revisit at TechCrunch in the future to report on how they went.

wse2.jpgFor my opening portfolio I bought companies that sounded like they had substance. Hope Capital Limited (HCL) sounded hopeful, and as this is the holding company for the WSE you’d expect good results. Hype String (HYP) may not make string, but hype always rises, right? I expect Spontaneous Rich Investments, Inc. (SRI) to perform well. Ginko Perpetual Bonds (GPB) are all that remains of the funds from the collapsed Ginko Bank. After trading as high as L$26, today’s price of around $L0.19 makes them a steal. For good measure I rounded out my portfolio with the two IPO’s scheduled for August 20, Taft Worsley Enterprise (TWE) and Apez Corp (APZ). I have no idea what either do, but given the history of IPO’s in such markets, I’m confident of a strong performance. More in a week or so, unless of course I’ve made so much money that I’ve retired.

For a quick tour of the WSE trading floor, view below.