In business since end of 2007, VirWoX is today the the leading independent exchange for trading virtual currencies, both in terms number if users (about 74,000), and trading volume (2010: 10 million Euro / 14 million US$).
Currencies traded are Linden Dollars (the virtual currency used in Second Life), Avination's C$, and the Open Metaverse Currency (OMC). In April 2011, VirWoX started accepting Bitcoin and enabled to trade bitcoins for Linden Dollars (both ways), which are in turn convertible to EUR, USD, GBP, CHF, and the other virtual currencies traded on VirWoX.
VirWoX is run by the company Virtual World Services GmbH, which is located in Austria. The service is available in five languages (English, German, French, Spanish, Italian).
How to buy bitcoins
With Linden Dollars
Then log in on the VirWoX website and enter an order to buy BTC on the "Exchange BTC/SLL" page. Depending on the type of order (Market or Limit), this will convert the Linden Dollars to BTC immediately or at some later time.
Finally use the "Withdraw" page to send the BTC to a Bitcoin address. You can also use VirWoX as a eWallet and keep your BTC there for later use.
Note that due to the restrictions currently imposed via Linden Labs' RISK API, your Second Life avatar must be at least 30 days old to deposit Linden Dollars into an VirWoX in-world terminal.
With other currencies (USD, EUR, etc.)
Technically, VirWoX only supports to buy BTC for Linden Dollars. However, you can first buy Linden Dollars for real-world currency, and then buy BTC for your Linden Dollars. It is not necessary to open a Second Life account to do this.
The following payment methods are available:
|Bank Wire||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||2-3 days||unlimited||free (if from EU in EUR)|
|PayPal||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||instant||variable (see "Limits")||EUR 0.35 + 3.4%|
|Credit/Debit Cards (Moneybookers)||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||instant||variable (see "Limits")||EUR 0.39 + 3.5%|
|DIRECTebanking / Sofortüberweisung||No||Yes||No||No||instant||variable (see "Limits")||2.5% (min. EUR 0.25)|
How to sell bitcoins
After your have opened an account, go to the "Deposit" page, scroll down to the "Bitcoin" section and click on the "Create my Bitcoin address" button. This will create a unique bitcoin address associated with your account. You then send the bitcoins you wish to sell to this address. As soon as the bitcoin network has confirmed the payment (5 blocks), the bitcoins are booked to your account, and an email is sent to you.
For Linden Dollars
To exchange bitcoins to Linden Dollars, go to the page "Exchange BTC/SLL", and enter an order to sell your bitcoins. Depending on your order (Market or Limit), this will be executed instantly or at some later time. You may then withdraw the Linden Dollars to your Second Life avatar or continue as described below.
For other currencies (USD, EUR, etc.)
Technically, VirWoX only supports to sell BTC for Linden Dollars. However, you can first do that (as described above) and then buy some real-world cash for your Linden Dollars. It is not necessary to open a Second Life account to do this. Just go to the corresponding exchange page (e.g. USD/SLL for USD, EUR/SLL for EUR), and buy the real-world currency for the Linden Dollars. Then proceed to the "withdraw" page and send the money using one of the supported withdrawal methods:
|Bank Wire||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||2-3 days||unlimited||1 EUR (if from EU in EUR)|
|PayPal||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||instant||2500 EUR/day||1 EUR/USD/GBP/CHF|
|Skrill/Moneybookers||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||instant||2500 EUR/day||1 EUR/USD/GBP/CHF|
|NETELLER||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||instant||2500 EUR/day||1 EUR/USD/GBP/CHF|
VirWoX charges 50 SLL (currently about 0.02 BTC) plus 2.9% for BTC/SLL market orders. The fee for limit orders depends on the previous trading volume of the account, and varies between 0.78% and 3.9%.
VirWoX charges 0.02 BTC for BTC withdrawals. Deposits in BTC are free.
Limits and Restrictions
Because of the risks involved, VirWoX restricts deposits via PayPal and Moneybookers (i.e. Credit/Debit Cards) depending on the age of the account. These limits have become increasingly strict. As of February 26, 2012, there are 5 different limit tiers as opposed to the original 3.
|PayPal/Moneybookers Limit Tier||Per 24 hours||Per 30 days|
|0 - Upon Registration||40 EUR||120 EUR|
|1 - After 10 Days||60 EUR||300 EUR|
|2 - After 60 Days||100 EUR||1,000 EUR|
|3 - After 90 Days||200 EUR||2,000 EUR|
|4 - By Request Only||8,000 EUR||80,000 EUR|
Another quite serious restriction is that trades are limited to whole units. E.g. you can only trade whole EUR to Linden Dollars (SLL). Even bigger is the problem that you can only buy whole bitcoins. Since one bitcoin is now worth a 4-digit amount of SLL this is a really big restriction - you'll quite probably end up with a bigger rest of SLL and have to spend additional money to use this rest.
Certain restrictions on Linden Dollar deposits are imposed via Linden Labs' RISK API. For example, your Second Life avatar must be at least 30 days old to deposit Linden Dollars into a VirWoX terminal. There are also various restrictions on the quantity of Linden Dollars that can be deposited at a time.