Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Once upon a time...there was a bank in SL®

It is probably a disease. You get it from one person to another. Will it become a virus?
I have been following the story of the Whitfield-Hastings bank for quiet some time now, as I had some money invested before the bank was banned from Second Life. I still had some change money in there, and it seemed that I could even recover those few Lindens, but now the truth came out, and what I was thinking all along came out. It is like a fairy tale, but then with no happy ending. It does not matter to me, but some people have invested big money, and they will never see one Linden back.
Who is to blame? Linden Lab for sure, but as I said in the beginning, it is a disease, the way of communication, or the lack of communication, and after that….the lies.

The story about the banks is known to everyone, this story is probably not.

The Royal bank of SL was founded by Cristopher Whitfield, and was one of the best banks in SL, as they looked professional in what they did, the interests were good (too high, but that was adjusted after a while). All went well until the decision of LL to close all banks, and give them only a few weeks to comply with the new rules. All accounts were closed, no one could withdraw money from their accounts anymore, until everything was cleared. Some people were mad, others were patient. We waited…..

Suddenly, the sad news came that Cris had died in RL. That would mean that the bank was automatically bankrupt, no existence anymore, no funds…nothing.
Most members were sad to hear the news and expressed their condolences on the website. After a few days, a new avatar came in the picture, the RL brother of Cris, Steffen Bolton. He did not know anything about SL, but wanted to pay everyone out, as that would have been the wish of Cris. In no time he was able to learn about Second Life, bank business and other stuff. It was amazing to see, how someone was trying to please all the shareholders of the former bank. There was a little hope for the big investors that they would see their money again.
New contracts were made; all shareholders had to agree to a loss of 30% of their total amount, as a cost to the WHJ bank. What alternative did they have?
After the contracts were signed, they tried to sell their sims, to find some money to pay all accounts. There was an agreement with LL that Steffen could manage all business that was started by Cris, because this was unusual….an avatar died in RL, with a lot of assets in SL.

This was what we had to believe.

On Friday, June 13th, what a date, there would be a statement from Steffen, because nobody knew what was happening, how long they had to wait for their money…….

The statement came…..a few days later.

CLARIFICATION OF CRIS
Cris is very ill and not DEAD. It was certainly not a good idea to let him die in the real World
or in SL, but in the given situation it was the only idea we had to save the islands.
In retrospect, it turned out by the fact that it was no use.
The management knew about this situation, and I am not really happy about it, but the life of my brother
was more important than continuing the game here absurdly. He was no longer able to continue
the business and was so limited; he repeatedly has stayed for a longer time at hospital stays.
Until now, his health condition is critical, and he can hardly do his daily work.”

This announcement, what has happened in the past and what they were trying to achieve, felt like a bomb to all shareholders. Why did they play this comedy? Why didn’t they simply say that Cris was ill, and could no longer work at the bank…?

Is this story the only true one, or is this also a lie?
Although the website is shutting down after today, they still say that the shareholders will be paid.
It doesn’t matter to me, as I had only a few Lindens there, but there others, who are really depending on that money, and who were desperately waiting to see some of their money back.
Well, we knew it all along, before LL closed all the banks, but the way they communicated, seems very much like the Lindens would have done.
At the end of their statement, (I use the plural form as I think it is more than one avatar, or all are one and the same), they wrote: (this was translated from the German language by someone)

IMPORTANT TO THE END

Responsibility:
The WHJ belonged to ALL shareholders, and not a single person.
The WHJ went bankrupt, and it has enriched NOBODY here, on the contrary,
the responsible persons are now broke in RL LIFE too.
The money flowed into the daily interests and the monthly costs.
Everyone who signed the WHJ has to share responsibility.
NOBODY is guilty, it was simply a failure

The remaining debt:
Even if none likes to hear, but after a bankruptcy, actually none is entitled to money.
Since this is not clearly regulated by LL in SL, we still obliged to repay all./..."

Will this be the end of the story? Will it continue? Will everyone be paid accordingly?

I don’t think there is much hope, but as they use to say; you can not live without hope.;)

1 comment:

N. Mahana said...

What the hell! When commercialism goes bad creativity suffers.