[quote authorpentance link=topic=53458.msg637809#msg637809 date=1322786547]
Again, my question is about independent, unlicensed LD exchanges (completely independent from Linden Labs and completely unlicensed), accepting deposits of hard currencies by way of Paypal: why is it different from a BTC exchange ?
LDs are used outside of Second life, in contradiction with LL TOS..
Are any of those exchanges transferring user funds from their Paypal account to a French bank account?
How many LD exchanges have come and gone over the years?
+1, I'd be interested to know if any have been around as long as Gox, or do a comparable volume in USD.
The internal Second Life economy alone trades hundreds of millions of dollars annually according to Linden Lab. The external market is probably considerably larger. You've got the Lindex, which is the official SL exchange. You've got exchanges which are classified as resellers by Linden Lab, and then you've got the exchanges which operate in the wild.
Another important point to remember is that Linden Lab can and does take Linden Dollars away from avatars. They have a risk API which they share with external exchanges and they do track problem transactions and take back fraudulently obtained coins. Bitcoin exchanges can track where fraudulently obtained coins have gone via the blockchain, but they have no power to retrieve those coins - this makes accepting payment methods which can be charged back months later far less attractive to Bitcoin exchanges.
A quick Google search brought up a shit-ton of services which exchange Linden Dollars for other fiat and digital currencies. A lot of these seem to operate as currency exchanger
services - something which Mark has said in the past he emphatically doesn't intend MtGox to be - which are often regulated differently than commodity/stock exchange services (which is closer to how MtGox operates except that facilitate the trading of only one commodity).
Linden Lab itself actually collects VAT on European transactions between itself and its users and defines LD as a "digital service". They're careful to state that LD themselves have no intrinsic value.
PayPal itself had to fight many legal battles in its infancy and is regulated quite differently in different jurisdictions. It's a licensed bank in Luxembourg largely because it encountered so many regulatory issues in Europe. In some other nations it can only process domestic payments. For a long time PayPal tried to claim that it was merely an escrow service but it's clearly not in many jurisdictions because it also acts as a custodian of user funds in excess of those needed for individual transactions. It holds user balances until they are withdrawn or otherwise spent by the user and that also means it's not just a money transmitter.
There's no one universal law which is going to apply to Bitcoin exchanges throughout the world. They'll have to adapt to the local regulatory environment just like payment processors, money transmitters, deposit-takers, and other businesses acting as financial intermediaries do. Licensing is only one issue. AML/CTF compliance is another issue with which they're going to have to grapple in many countries.