EVE Online offers lessons for the financial crisis

Uh-oh! Another big bank is the subject of a depositor run amid charges its chairman has run off with customers’ money. Thankfully, this scandal is only taking place in Eve Online, a space-age virtual reality created by CCP, a games developer and Iceland’s coolest company. But Ebank’s troubles in the ether may offer some valuable lessons for earthly banking and regulation.
Eve is one of the more successful so-called massively multiplayer online games. Some 300,000 people – as it happens, nearly equal to the population of Iceland – pay $15 a month to navigate characters that pilot inter-galactic spaceships, manufacture and trade goods, mine resources and enter into big alliances – or bloody battles – with one another.
Central to Eve’s strategy, players develop economies within an “anything goes,” free markets framework that allows them to expand their fleets, buy weaponry and equipment and bolster defences. Indeed, Eve boasts 66 different marketplaces for some 5,000 items, with more than a million transactions a day.
Enter Ebank. Because players often do not have the interstellar credits – abbreviated to ISK, also the official abbreviation of the Icelandic krona – they need to expand their fleets, an enterprising player created a bank that would accept deposits and lend to players who would pledge assets, like their spacecraft, as collateral.
Via www.telegraph.co.uk