23 hours ago
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Linden Lab Raising Fees to Buy Lindens, Maximum Fee to Sell
Second Life is about to get a little more expensive.
In the official Second Life blog on Tuesday, Linden Lab announced there would be an "update" to the fees for Second Life users to use the LindeX to purchase Linden dollars and the "credit processing" fees to sell Linden dollars for real money.
Underlying SL’s successful user-to-user L$ economy and the ability to buy and sell L$’s for real currency is a significant amount of ongoing work to ensure that everything remains compliant with applicable laws and regulations, while also preventing fraud and money laundering.
Investing in improvements to these processes and the ongoing compliance work required comes at a cost to Linden Lab, and we will be making some LindeX fee adjustments in order to share a portion of those costs with Residents active in the SL economy.
To buy Linden dollars, the fee on the LindeX is going from 40 cents per transaction to 60 cents.
To sell Linden dollars for real world currency, the current "fee structure" remains the same at one and a half percent with a minimum fee of $3 USD. But the maximum fee is going up from $15 USD to $25.
There was some debate about the issue on a thread in the official forums, some outright opposing it, others conceding the Lab probably had justifiable reasons to raise prices. One woman commented packing up and taking things to Opensim might not be a good ideas as on the Kitely grid "there is a 20% fee to sell on Kitely market and a 45 day wait to get your money to Paypal." and "there are many less BUYERS on Opensim so your chances of selling are possibly less."
If one takes the Lab's explanation at face value, their costs of making sure the transactions go smoothly while taking steps against "fraud and money laundering" are going up, either having to replace equipment, or get new equipment and employees as a result of new regulations or perhaps as a result of complaints about their service. Hamlet Au of New World Notes suspected the latter might be a partial reason as he'd been hearing reports of some content creators suffering "financial crippling delays" in getting their real-world money from the Lab after selling them Linden dollars. So perhaps this is a case of the Lab responding to the complaints, but felt the users had to help pay for the costs. Hamlet also had another, sobering, explanation, "The Second Life economy is slowly but surely shrinking, so those who are still in the economy will have to pay more to keep participating in it."
In any event, the changes go into effect June 19.
Source: Hamlet Au