I saw this article on the nytimes.com about how China reacted to the explosion in use of gaming currencies in China. I see parallels with bitcoinhttp://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/01/technology/internet/01yuan.html
Published: June 30, 2009
SHANGHAI — The buying and selling of the make-believe currencies used in online gaming has become so widespread that Chinese authorities fear it will affect the real economy.
The coin of fantasy realms have already moved markets here. So-called QQ coins — a form of currency produced by the Chinese Internet giant Tencent — have sometimes risen sharply in value against China’s official currency, the renminbi, alarming officials at the nation’s Central Bank.
Some people have even traded virtual currencies in China, and exchanged them for clothes, cosmetics and other goods.
Last year, nearly $2 billion in virtual currency was traded in China, according to the China Internet Network Information Center. Some experts say they believe there is a much larger underground economy in the virtual world.