Know that what really made it work, was not the existence of virtual currency (that many people ahted), but the use of USD as stable currency...
During 1993 we handled USD in day-to-day basis, I have several toys (back in 1993 I was a kid) that I know their prices only in USD. Also some other equipment (a kickass analogic video camera, that I think was bought for 8000 USD or something like that...).
Then when Real was introduced, it was locked to USD in 1:1
After some time, it got unlocked from USD because USD was having problems itself... But it kinda worked.