The Lindex has been in a state of flux of late, something that has been the subject of discussion and speculation on a number of fronts. Reader Ample Clarity first pointed things out to me earlier last week via IM (I’ve been rather focused on other things of late, so haven’t been watching the broader news as much as I should), and I’ve been dipping in-and-out of conversations and reports on things since then.
The fluctuations started towards the end of 2015, and were perhaps first discussed on the pages of SL Universe. The discussion resumed in April, when further swings were noted, causing additional concern among those looking to cash-out L$ balances, while sparking some of the more widespread discussion.
Various theories (and not a few conspiracies) have been put forward to explain what has been happening – although determining precisely what the cause is, is pretty much anyone’s guess. But purely in terms of the more recent fluctuations, New Worlds Notes (NWN) is promoting a theory which might just be plausible: that one (or more) large land estates have been liquidating L$ stocks in order to realise additional US dollar funds to take advantage of the Lab’s grandfathered buy-down offer.
The theory actually comes from Plurker T-Kesserex, who is quoted by NWN as saying:
I think it’s people cashing out to get capital for the $600 dollar sim price reduction … If you own 10 sims you need $6000, so that’s not easy without some cashing out.
At the start of the buy-down offer, Tyche Shepherd, of Grid Survey fame, estimated that around 85% of Homestead regions were already grandfathered, but only around 11% of full-priced regions of all types, leaving enormous potential in the market. During the first month, this figure increased to almost 21%, with the number of grandfathered full-priced regions rising from around 1,039 to 1960, demonstrating a thirst for conversion. Thus, the idea that one or more large estates might be liquidating L$ stocks to cover the cost of further conversions isn’t an unreasonable speculation.
But even if it is a fair assessment of the situation, it doesn’t offer any hint as to what – market forces or otherwise – has been pushing at the Lindex since late 2015. Nor does it offer any comfort to those concerned about cashing out at a reasonable – or at least stable – rate. All that can be said for certain is that, if you have the need for L$ in your account, buying them hasn’t been this attractive in a good while.