CNN -- May 19 -- Currencies that exist only online are becoming a more significant part of commerce on the Web and in the real world. Some, like the hi5 Coin, operate almost like tokens in an arcade or tickets at a fair: They're a stand-in for real-world currency. Other "virtual currencies," like Second Life's Linden Dollars, however, are traded on markets. The currencies also fuel online gaming communities and are becoming an important part of social networks. Edward Castronova, a professor of telecommunications at Indiana University, says people transfer at least $1 billion into the virtual currencies each year, with most of that money going into online games. FULL ARTICLE @ CNN
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