Linden Lab have announced Exciting Improvements to SL & Fee Updates to Enable Even More. This is probably going to be received as a good cop bad cop announcement because it involves a rise in the cost of buying Linden Dollars on the LindeX and a rise in cashing out, but the announcement also involves talk of future features and improvements, which will be more welcomed.
First of all the fees, the blog post informs us :
Underlying SL’s user-to-user economy and the ability to buy and sell L$’s for real currency is a significant amount of ongoing work to ensure that everything remains compliant with applicable laws and regulations, while also preventing fraud and money laundering. This work comes at a cost, and we are adjusting related fees in order to help cover those costs and enable us to continue to invest in Second Life’s future. The changes are as follows:
- Effective today, the fee for buying L$ on the LindeX will be $0.99 per transaction (previously it had been $0.60 per transaction). These changes impact only buys on the LindeX, and the fees associated with buying L$’s during SL Marketplace transactions remain unchanged.
- On January 3, 2018, the fee for processing credit transactions (i.e. paying real money into a PayPal or Skrill account) will be 2.5% per transaction, with a $3 (USD) minimum, and no maximum. This fee is currently 1.5% per transaction, with a $3 (USD) minimum and a $25 (USD) maximum.
This isn’t the first time Linden Lab have changed the fee structure for LindeX and credit processing this year, back in June they announced Updates to LindeX and Credit Processing Fees.
There are of course, as Linden Lab point out, many costs involved in ensuring transactions are legal, that money laundering and fraud are prevented, so it’s fair that fees are associated with these transactions.
Linden Lab have given plenty of notice for processing credit fee changes but I feel they could have given a bit more notice regarding changes to fees for buying on the LindeX, maybe I missed a previous announcement on these changes.
In terms of exciting improvements, there look to be plenty and this is something to be very positive about.
Plans are still in place for the game Tyrah & the Curse of the Magical Glytches to go grid wide, with resident locations hosting portions of the game.
Animesh is in beta and Linden Lab also mention an Environmental Enhancements Project, or EEP! as it will be known :
a series of extensions to Windlight that enable you to trade or sell your own environment settings. EEP will also allow Parcel-based environment settings and an extended day cycle too!
That sounds interesting.
A new perk for Premium Subscribers is hinted at, which the blog post suggests will be a feature that is useful for shoppers and merchants.
The blog post also mentions, but doesn’t go into too much detail about, ways to stop the bad guys :
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for successful platforms to attract cheaters and bad actors. Some of these villains attempt to hurt Residents’ businesses by bypassing creator protections in SL, and we’re continually developing new tools and techniques to combat this. Recently, we closed an exploit that fraudulent gacha re-sellers had used. Our governance team can now catch them when they attempt the cheating method that we have already fixed. Many bad actors have already been banned from SL, and additional changes will soon make our team even more effective. Protecting your creations and your SL businesses is important to us!
Whereas the details are sparse, this will hopefully involve welcome additional changes. Linden Lab’s customers deserve protection from bad actors and this is an ongoing challenge, so I do welcome Linden Lab mentioning this side of the business.
On top of that, Linden Lab have a project that they call “Brave New World”. This is the project that involves a huge upgrade to the Second Life infrastructure as they move to the cloud. There have been hints that if this proves successful then Linden Lab may be able to look at land pricing too. I would urge patience on this front as it is a huge project, but it’s also an exciting one.
The improvements, as Linden Lab have previously announced, involve investment of many millions of US dollars. Linden Lab are still very much investing in Second Life and looking to unleash improvements to make Second Life better for everyone.