Second Life L$ Authorised Reseller programme to close

secondlifeOn Monday, June 15th, Linden Lab announced the forthcoming closure of the Linden Dollar (L$) Authorised Reseller programme, which has been in operation for just over two years.

The programme was originally introduced in May 2013, after Linden Lab had, earlier that month, made changes to their Terms of Service (ToS) which meant that only the official LindeX was the only place where trading in Linden dollars would be allowed.

At the time of the change, the Lab stated their reason for the change was to better protect users from the risk of fraud. However, there was considerable speculation on whether the move was linked to a set of interpretive guidelines (PDF) issued by the US Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement network (FinCEN). As I reported at the time the guidelines were issued, the suggestion was that insofar as the federal government was concerned, the Linden Dollar could be regarded as a virtual currency  a virtual currency (the Lab had “downgraded” it to a game token in 2010 within their ToS), and therefore potentially subject for more rigorous controls to prevent issues of fraud and money laundering.

However, whether or not FinCen’s guidelines were a trigger point for the Lab’s changes to the Terms of Service in 2013, the changes themselves did cause assorted problems for may users outside of the United States who wished to but L$, but who could not, again for assorted reasons, easily use the LindeX.

The Linden Dollar Authorised Reseller logo, introduced with the programme in 2013

The Linden Dollar Authorised Reseller programme was a direct response to the problems users affected by the ToS changes were encountering. It allowed approved bodies to buy Linden dollars through the LindeX and then resell those L$ to users in a variety of international currencies and via numerous payment methods. However, in keeping with the May 2013 ToS changes, these Authorised Resellers were not allowed to buy back L$ from users or cash users out – such transactions would still have to go via the LindeX.

When it was introduced, the Authorised Reseller programme was supported by a wiki page, and was regarded by the Lab as a pilot programme – and its status as such has never changed over the last two years. Nevertheless, it proved to be popular; by early June 2013, just three weeks after it had been launched, some 29 resellers had been approved by the Lab as a part of the programme.

In announcing the closure of the programme, which will take place on August 1st, 2015, the Lab states:

Since then [the introduction of the programme in 2013], we have expanded the payment options for Second Life users, and today, you can easily purchase L$ in more countries than ever before, using a credit card, PayPal, or Skrill, which supports a wide range of payment methods. We’ve found that these options support the vast majority of Second Life users, and we have therefore made the business decision to close the Authorized Linden Dollar Reseller pilot program.

We are contacting program participants directly to detail the next steps for them, and they will have approximately six weeks to sell off their L$ inventory.

As of August 1, 2015, the Authorized L$ Reseller pilot program will be closed, and the LindeX will be the only authorized place to purchase L$.

While the announcement will probably lead to speculation and theories as to why the Lab is taking this step, the stated reason actually seems to be fair enough: when the changes were made to the Terms of Service in 2013, the loss of third-party exchanges for L$ purchases did impact users – but the Lab has, over the last two years, genuinely sought to offer more options by which users can make L$ purchases, all of which enjoy widespread use among Second Life users.

For full details on the closure and on how to buy L$ beyond August 1st, 2015 if you have relied upon a third-party authorised Reseller, please refer to the official blog post.

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8 thoughts on “Second Life L$ Authorised Reseller programme to close

  1. So, after kicking out almost all the skill game operators, lately the Linux users and now its the Linden resellers. I suppose next the reselling of land will be banned.

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  2. Inara you can be right, but it just looks like LL is trying to pull far away its user basis.
    I guess that its time for creators to start thinking not in terms of Sl2, but on Kitely.

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  3. Joshie, can you tell me waht is the isue with kitely, is a very viable online markeplace choice for those who wish to sell or buy products to open sim grids, be commercial closed ones or open ones.
    Even if the revenue could be smaller at beginning, if brands like Sl…, Mat…., Tru…. and other big league ones,. would diversify their markets and start selling to Open sim grids for sure with the quality shown, many would not avoid open sim due to good lack of content.
    Mesh is a reality there, more even then on SL and Kitely import/export choices, make it viable for those that fear that someone could copy boot their products.
    Is just another market target, now smaller but that would grow as more good quality is available and really i can not understand why it is so much unknown.

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    1. No, not really. Although I wish I could get L$1.00 for every pronouncement of doom and gloom that followed just about any announcement made by the Lab.

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  4. That’s just stupid.
    I got a sim that I share where a thousand residents used to hang out. Donations help to pay it but I always have to add some money for the tiers. I would never tie my SL activities with RL infos like my Credit Card number or Paypal infos and anonymous paysafe cards or Ukash with resellers is the only way to achieve it, and many are thinking like I do. So I guess my sim will not be the only one to disappear.
    Limiting the ways available for customers to pay is, most of time, counter-productive from a business point of view.
    Time for me to move on open sims I guess. I will put my creations there, transfer what I can from SL and will script and such from there, so I will be able to still welcome my friends, talk and play with them in a less limited world. The graphics there are maybe more rough and it lacks some very convenient things existing in SL but we can help to improve it and make more and better.

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    1. Skrill offers secure payment options which do not require any linking of your financial details to your SL account (only your Skrill account is linked).

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