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A STEEP-analysis of virtual currencies, and a competitor analysis of Facebook Credits.

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  • Different virtual worlds have created different kinds of currencies that have different attributes. World of Warcraft for example doesn’t allow virtual items to be traded for real money while others like Second life encourage that kind of trading. Companies that work with online games have realized that selling nothing for money is something that is profitable. What is interesting is that these kind of economies in many ways work in the same way as contemporary economies. Which makes it possible to use economic theories in the virtual worlds as well. Second life has personal that works with keeping the economies stable. To avoid deflation or inflation is it important to have a good balance in the virtual world. They need to have both sources and sinks, so there must be ways to keep the currency from circulate. This cycle here is an example on how a virtual economy that allows items to be bought for real money. So people can actually make money on these virtual worlds economies.
  • The discussion on how to regulate virtual worlds has long been a hot topic. However, the virtual aspect have made it a complex and difficult subject for regulatory frameworks to relate to. The fast development of virtual worlds have made it difficult for regulations to catch-up, says Founder of MindArk, Christian Björkman (Interview 2nd of February 2011)(Interview enclosed in appendix, page 27-29). However, looking at 2011 and the future, Virtual Economies are becoming increasingly real in sense of legalisation. Looking at cyber thefts, as the incidents in UK and in ETS during the last two weeks (see appendix page 17,18 for full stories), one could expect increased pressure from regulatory frameworks in EU and U.S on online security requirements for platform and VW issuers.Also, parallely to the expansion of the market, the debate on taxation in virtual worlds intensifies. Recent comments from IRS and U.S Congress suggest concrete implementations soon. Also, we see a current problem in the inconsistency between international regulatory framework and the local requirements. e.g. Resolution Interactive signed for bankruptcy a few days ago and Stardoll will move its corporations abroad since both corporations were required to pay sales tax twice. Trade of virtual currencies is believed to get even more globally discussed due to the predicted consolidation of the market and the rise of new strong currencies, such as Facebook Credits. With hundred of million people suddenly using the same currencythe interesting discussion of virtual platforms as new real economies will evolve.  more legislative and political pressure.
  • Source: http://www.finextra.com/News/Fullstory.aspx?newsitemid=22237
  • Source: http://virtual-economy.org/tags/laws_and_regulations
  • Sse virtual currencies_us-europe_group8b

    1. 1. Group 8b Course 2304<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br />Virtual Worlds and GamingIndustries<br />STEEP analysis of Virtual Currencies in US/Europe and Competitive Analysis of Facebook Credits<br />Instructor: Group 8b:<br />Robin Teigland Charles Florman<br /> Johanna Sjöblom<br />Course 2404 Karin Rimbäck<br />Media Management Carl Waldenor<br />
    2. 2. Group 8b Course 2304<br />Executive Summary<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br />This is a report investigating the industry of online platforms in the US and Europe that have adopted their own virtual currency. In order to analyze the industry on a broad level an analysis has been made of the Social, Technological, Economical, Environmental and Political (STEEP) trends affecting the industry. On a deeper level, a competitive analysis of the new currency from Facebook was conducted. From the STEEP-analysis we found some trends that in the future will come to affect the online platforms providing virtual currencies, such as growing importance of smart phones and mobile devices, new and better technology together with low COC which enables growth and expansion on the market. However, this growth will also imply larger digital footprint and more legislative and political pressure on the virtual economies. From the competitive analysis, we found that the virtual currency of Second Life (Linden dollars) does not imply a very large threat to the Facebook Credits as of today. What actors that should be kept under close observation are rather Apple and MySpace. <br />
    3. 3. Group 8b Course 2304<br />Agenda<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br />1. Background information of Virtual Currencies<br />2. STEEP – Future outlook of virtual currencies <br />i. Social<br /> ii. Technological<br /> iii. Economical<br /> iv. Environmental<br />v. Political<br /> vi. STEEP Conclusion<br />3. Facebook Credits – A new economy?<br />4. Competitive analysis of Facebook Credits<br />5. Conclusion of Facebook Credits<br />6. Bibliography<br />7. Appendix<br />
    4. 4. Group 8b Course 2304<br />Background on Virtual Currencies<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br />A virtual currency custom made for a virtual world<br />Virtual money can have real value<br />Needs sources and sinks<br />Can be compared to a contemporary economy<br />Can be used to buy, trade and repair <br />
    5. 5. Group 8b Course 2304<br />Future social trends for virtual currencies<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br />In the US it is estimated that 17 % more people will play at least one game on social networks (from 2010 to 2011)<br />The social games industry has a very large and diversified demographic who distribute their time among major titles and many smaller games.<br />Games on mobile devices will continue with a massive growth<br />The newest games will create unique social experiences by tapping into users' real-life interests and hobbies. <br />A diverse range of peopletend to be interested in online gaming, and preferably games associated with real life experiences that could be played on mobile phones.<br />
    6. 6. Group 8b Course 2304<br />Future technologicaltrends for virtual currencies<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br />Software development is moving forward<br />New graphicengines like Virtway World<br />Adobe AIR<br />Hardware development is moving forward (Moores law)<br />Telephones<br />Tablets<br />Always connected<br />V.v. Facebook has gone mobile with 200 operators in 60 countries<br />New and better technology together with innovative software and mobile internet will create huge opportunities for exciting and new economies in virtual worlds <br />
    7. 7. Group 8b Course 2304<br />Future economictrends for virtual currencies<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br /><ul><li> Business cycle (US/EU)</li></ul>Recovering global economies<br /><ul><li> Inflation & interest rates</li></ul> - Inflation expected to remain low worldwide until 2012 <br /> - Interests rates expected to stay low in the present future<br /><ul><li> Industry growth</li></ul> VW industry revenue expected to reach $3.9 billion in 2011,$6.0 billion in 2012<br /><ul><li> Purchasing power</li></ul> Industry strategy of micropayments includes more consumers<br /><ul><li> Industry structure</li></ul> Market actors closing down or consolidating<br />With low inflation and interest rates, exchangeable virtual currencies can keep stable. COC low, enabling growth and expansions. Together with micropayment strategies, this leads to high growth rates. However, industrial structure is changing. <br />
    8. 8. Group 8b Course 2304<br />Future environmentaltrends for virtual currencies<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br />”Data centers are among the most energy-intensive facilities imaginable”<br />Facebook, Apple, Google etc are under hard pressure from Greenpeace to use renewable energy sources<br />Example: Facebook’s new plant in Oregon is 300’ sq ft big and could supply about 30’ households with electricity<br />…or is virtual purchases actually good for the environment?<br />As cloudcomputingincrease, so will the environmental pressure on the actorsproviding it as well. <br />
    9. 9. Group 8b Course 2304<br />Future political trends for virtual currencies<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br />3 pressingissues in 2011 and the nearfuture;<br />Larger focus on Cyber thefts and online fraud (e.g. in 2011, 400 million poker chips stolen in Zynga, $30 M Carbon Credits in ETS)  Increasedpressure from regulatory framework in EU and US <br />Expectations of only the U.S market for virtual goods to reach$2.1 Bn in 2011  Taxation debate intensifies in U.S Congress and IRS Localsales tax issues (e.g. in 2011: Resolution interactive, Stardoll)<br />Environmental organisations (e.g. Greenpeace) putpressure in politics<br />The moresimilar to a real economy the more legislative and political pressure<br />What will be the consequences? <br />Legislative and political pressure on virtual economies intensifies We will increasinglysee lawsuits, fines, regulatory order, civil and criminal penalties on the European and American market in the nextyears.<br />
    10. 10. Group 8b Course 2304<br />STEEP Conclusions<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br />
    11. 11. Group 8b Course 2304<br />Facebook Credits – a new economy?<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br /><ul><li>Facebook Credits is a virtual currency you can use to buy virtual goods in over 100 games and applications on the Facebook platform
    12. 12. You purchase them with credit card, PayPal, mobile phone or in physical stores (such as Walmart)
    13. 13. The intention is to make it easy for people to purchase games and virtual goods within them
    14. 14. However, on every purchase Facebook takes 30 % of the game developers’ revenue
    15. 15. Some argue that Facebook Credits will develop into F-commerce while other think it will stay to only games
    16. 16. In a study with almost 3000 respondents; Will you be buying and spending Facebook Credits?
    17. 17. 17 % Yes, absolutely
    18. 18. 58 % No, absolutely not
    19. 19. 25 % I have to learn more</li></li></ul><li>Group 8b Course 2304<br />Competitor Analysis: Linden Lab<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br />Objectives<br />Current goal? Turn focus from businesses to consumers<br />Goal Performance? World GDP increased in 2010, but neg. trendGoals likely to change? No, but customer retention likely to become focus<br />Strategy<br />Innovation, performance and user experience in focus<br />Simplify payment mechanism internationallyWeb initiatives: Linden Dollar marketplaces, Avatar social network<br />Resources & capabilities<br />Strengths: Strong brand, established platform, exchangeable to USD, establish exchange institutionWeaknesses: Too few users, GDP declining<br />World GDP Break-down (USD millions) <br />Predictions<br />In order to create a bigger user base, LL’s consumer focus will probably have to be sustained in the coming years. No changes of goals are hence expected.<br />Response to FB Credits is unclear, although rumors of enabling use outside of SL.<br />
    20. 20. Group 8b Course 2304<br />Competitor Analysis: Other networking platforms<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br />Competition on need level<br /> Possible consumer needs<br />- Extensive network<br />- Casual games- Music- Gifting<br /> Plausible competitors<br /> MySpace.com<br /><ul><li> Have been planning own currency for years- Casual gaming, music and gifting
    21. 21. 5th largest social network globally</li></ul>Apple<br />- Mobile platforms- Casual gaming and utilities- Organized payment system; “virtual wallet”<br />
    22. 22. Group 8b Course 2304<br />ConclusionsofFacebook Credits<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br />+<br />+<br />=<br />July, 1, 2011, the deadline <br />The prediction of a stable economic environment<br />+ advantageous launch of the credits <br /> + initial survival of the connected game developers.<br />600+ mn members  Facebook highly affected of the increase in environmental and political pressure on the industry in general.<br />Competition from Second Life decreases (decline in GDP, small member base)<br />In the future, Facebook is recommended to watch out for Apple and MySpace.<br />Outlook<br /><br />What if?<br />Predictions of 1 Billion members in Oct, 2011 + Facebook Credits <br /> = A New Economy?<br />
    23. 23. Group 8b Course 2304<br />Bibliography<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br />Slide 4<br />http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=virtual-world-economists-on-real-economies (March 2010)<br />http://www.slaw.ca/2010/11/16/virtual-money/ (Nov 2010)<br />Slide 5<br />http://www.mnilive.com/2011/01/us-social-gaming-market-to-surpass-1-billion-in-2011/ (Jan 2011)<br />http://www.ayeahgames.com/blog/bid/54963/Outlook-for-the-2011-Game-Industry-Good (Jan 2011)<br />http://marketinghub.bayt.com/news/social-gaming-trends-2011 (Jan 2011)<br />http://mashable.com/2010/12/26/gaming-industry-predictions-2010/ (Dec 2010)<br />Slide 6<br />http://onaired.com/2010/11/virtway-world-3d-virtual-worlds-to-jump-from-pc-to-mobile/ (Nov 2010)<br />http://www.thestarphoenix.com/business/Here+keys+find+right+social+dashboard/4190185/story.html (Feb 2011)<br />http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/2008/09/moore.ars (Sep 2008)<br />http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics (2010)<br />Slide 7<br />http://www.pdfchaser.com/World-Economic-Situation-and-Prospects-2011.html(Dec 2010)<br />http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/news/article.html?in_article_id=521258&in_page_id=2 (Jan 2011)<br />http://www.engagedigital.com/2011/02/02/kzero-39b-global-revenue-from-virtual-worlds-in-2011/ (Feb 2011)<br />http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/03/news-corp-myspace-sale_n_817977.html (Feb 2011)<br />Slide 8<br />http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article5489134.ece (Jan 2009)<br />http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2010/11/11/facebook-plans-north-carolina-data-center/ (Nov 2010)<br />http://www.greenm3.com/2010/03/greenpeace-targets-cloud-data-centers-environmental-impact-and-use-of-coal-power.html (Mar 2010)<br />http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/datacenter/big-data-centers-big-environmental-footprints/112 (April 2007)<br />http://climateprogress.org/2010/06/21/internet-energy-use-myth/ (June 2010)<br />Slide 9<br />http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/virtual-goods-expected-to-grow-by-40-percent-next-year-studysays<br />http://www.gamestudies.org/0302/castronova/<br />http://www.networkworld.com/newsletters/2010/051710sec1.html (May 2010)<br />http://www.enisa.europa.eu/media/press-releases/new-guide-on-cyber-security-incident-management-to-support-the-fight-against-cyber-attacks (February 2011)<br />http://themonetaryfuture.blogspot.com/2010/03/currency-design-for-social-networks.html (March 2010)<br />http://www.silobreaker.se/momsregler-kan-tvinga-framgngssaga-att-lmna-sverige-5_2264328670300602415 (February 2011)<br />http://www.jvwresearch.org/page/volume_2_number_4_virtual_economies_virtual_goods_and_service_delivery_in_virtual_worlds (February 2010) <br />www.virtualworldlaw.com/Virtual%20Currency.pdf (2010)<br />Slide 11<br />www.facebook.com (Feb 2011)<br />http://mashable.com/2009/04/04/facebook-credits/ (April 2009)<br />Slide 12<br />http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/second_life_economy_at_record_high.php (Apr 2010)<br />http://www.engagedigital.com/2010/09/10/second-life-q2-economy-nearly-unchanged/ (Sep 2010)<br />http://blogs.computerworld.com/16303/second_life_layoffs (Jun 2010)<br />http://web.nmc.org/files/2010-slpro/tom-hale-keynote.pdf (Feb 2010)<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bE1PMdcmfBQ (Apr 2009)<br />Slide 14<br />http://bitshare.tumblr.com/post/2061881391/facebook-will-reach-1-billion-members-in-2011 (December 2010)<br />
    24. 24. Group 8b Course 2304<br />Appendix<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br />STEEP - Environmental trend – Renewableelectricity (p. 17-18)<br />STEEP - Political trend – Cyber theftexamples (p.19-20) <br />Facebook Credits – Usage, pictures, examples and quotes (p. 21-27)<br />Interview with Christian Björkman - Chief Marketing Officer, Mindark (p. 28-30)<br />
    25. 25. Group 8b Course 2304<br />Environment - RenewableElectricity<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br />
    26. 26. Group 8b Course 2304<br />Environment – RenewableElectricity<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br />” Unless cloud data centres are strategically placed to utilise or be co-developed with renewable sources of electricity, the data centre operators are stuck with the same problem everybody has, and having to accept the mix of clean and dirty energy sources that the electric utilities rely upon”<br />
    27. 27. Group 8b Course 2304<br />Political – Cyber theft 1<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br />
    28. 28. Group 8b Course 2304<br />Political – Cyber theft 2<br />2011/01/21<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br />
    29. 29. Group 8b Course 2304<br />Facebook usage<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br />Facebook users from the U.S. spend 33 % of their online time on Facebook<br />Asians are the most heavy Facebook users devoting 40 % of their online time there (see graph)<br />
    30. 30. Group 8b Course 2304<br />Facebook Credits<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br />
    31. 31. Facebook Credits<br />Group 8b Course 2304<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br />
    32. 32. Facebook Credits<br />Group 8b Course 2304<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br />
    33. 33. Facebook Credits<br />Group 8b Course 2304<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br />Facebook Open Source collect customer data even offline the Facebook site<br />By tailoring customer offerings and facilitating the purchase process, Facebook will help businesses increase both transactions andrevenues<br />” With virtual gifts and games expected to top $6 billion by 2013, the move to secure online is a smart bet on Facebook’s part, especially because not everyone uses PayPal or credit cards online. With the real-world purchased cards (e.g. in Walmart), those people will now have access to virtual Facebook products.” <br />
    34. 34. ”F-commerce”<br />Group 8b Course 2304<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br />“From simple, social interactions to true social commerce”1<br />XXXX http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/facebook-credits/<br />
    35. 35. Quotes about Facebook Credits from 2011<br />Group 8b Course 2304<br />Intro<br />Agenda<br />Background<br />STEEP<br />FB Credits<br />Competition<br />Conclusions<br />Bibliography<br />Appendix<br />”If youcan store somemoney in a Facebookaccount and pay for anything just by clicking a buttontoconnectyourFacebookprofile, this will facilitate a huge amountoftransactions.”<br />Mitch Joel, President of Twist Image, February 4 (4)<br />”Facebook's payment system could soon compete with credit cards”<br />Danielle Robson, CreditNet, February 2 (3)<br />”As Facebookgrows and starts to host all sorts of commerce, perhapsit's time to stop thinking of the social network as a company. Maybeit's best to think of it as a country.” <br />Fortune, January, 28 (5)<br />“Think about the fact that Facebook has a population of 500 million people. If even 10 per cent of those start trading Facebook Credits then it would potentially be a more powerful currency than say the Aussie, Hong Kong or Singapore dollars”<br /> Brett King, author of "Bank 2.0”, February (2)<br />”As Facebook achieves world dominancy, it will be evaluated as a critical political hub”<br />Apurba Sen, co-author at Trendspotting, 2011 (1)<br />

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