Facebook seems poised to launch a virtual currency sometime in the next few months, known as Facebook Credits. It will only be used for on-site Facebook applications...at least at first. But in the long term, I'm worried what a ubiquitous virtual currency could do to the global economy.
What happens if Facebook (or some other website) develops an extremely popular virtual currency? Even real-world merchants might start accepting payments in that currency if it was popular enough. Then we would all be at the mercy of a monetary policy which we had no control over, just like Greece currently is. So many people don't trust the independence of the Federal Reserve System; just imagine if we become dependent on a system with no accountability to the public whatsoever, like the Facebook Central Bank or the Bank of Twitter.
I realize that this scenario probably will not happen for at least a decade, but it seems troublesome enough that our government should step in to regulate it now, before the virtual currency systems become entrenched enough that they can lobby against regulations.
What do you think? Could this pose an economic danger a few years down the road, or am I just overthinking this?