Trade Second Life Currencies via the VirWox API

Kevin Farnham
Jan. 02 2009, 02:51AM EST

VirWoX, the Virtual World Exchange for trading currencies in virtual worlds like Second Life, recently unveiled the VirWoX API. The API provides live access to real time quotes from the VirWoX marketplace, where the currency for Second Life, called Linden dollars, can be traded in several real-life currencies (see our VirWoX API profile for details). The Virtual World Exchange provides opportunities for Second Life members to buy and sell Linden dollars in U.S. dollars, Euros (EUR), UK pounds (GBP), and other currencies, potentially reducing the transaction costs for converting between real-life money and Linden dollars.

virwox

The VirWoX exchange last month crossed a milestone of handling over $1.3 million USD in trades:

Today we passed the milestone of 5,000 registered users, while total trading volume (since the start of our service about one year ago) was 343 million Linden dollars. At the current exchange rate, this is 1 million Euros.

SLentreprenuer Magazine points-out a few other details about the service within Second Life:

The exchange has an in-world facility - the Commerzbank in Frankfurt City (http://slurl.com/secondlife/Frankfurt%20City/221/55/26) - and 100 terminals throughout the Second Life™ environment. According to their marketing materials, “Our fully automatic exchange helps to reduce human interventions to a minimum. This enables us to keep our (and your) costs low. Our commissions range from just 0.5% to 2.5%.”

The VirWoX API supports both SOAP and JSON-RPC protocols. Data formats include XML and JSON. You can view the Basic API WSDL here. The API is documented in the 25-page VirWoX Basic API Reference and Developer Guide.

The current VirWox API (the "Basic API") is read-only. The VirWoX developers are working on a "Transactional API" that will provide full access to VirWoX functionality, including automated trading, integration with online wallet applications, and integration of new payment methods.

Interestingly, the pricing for Linden dollars per U.S. dollar can be different in VirWoX marketplace compared with the pricing in the Second Life LindeX marketplace. This means Second Life citizens from the United States can choose to purchase or sell Linden dollars in whichever marketplace currently offers the best price. One can foresee a future where the VirWoX API and others enable the development of applications that perform arbitrage between multiple virtual currency marketplaces.

Kevin Farnham

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