Editorial: Linden Lab’s New Sansar Dollar Conversion Policy Penalizes Musical Performers and Other People Who Receive Tips in Sansar

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Photo by Sam Truong Dan on Unsplash

Yesterday, Linden Lab finally relaunched their Sansar Dollar Conversion page since their shift away from the SandeX, as part of their launch of Sansar on Steam. However, there are a few new stipulations that people need to be aware of before they try to cash out their Sansar dollars:

Today’s the day. Our Sansar Dollar Conversion page is officially live!

What this means, in a nutshell: creators like you can once again convert their Earned Sansar dollars into US dollars.

How this differs from our old Sandex system:

  • Earned Sansar dollars represent the Sansar dollars you’ve made from selling items in the Sansar Store. Only Earned Sansar dollars are eligible to be converted into US dollars. Earned Sansar dollars can be converted into USD here.
  • Sansar dollars that were bought, received as a gift, or received through a promotion do not count as Earned Sansar dollars. As an exception, any Sansar dollars you have before today have been automatically converted into Earned Sansar dollars, regardless of how you acquired them.
  • When spending or gifting Sansar dollars in Sansar, you automatically draw from non-earned dollars first before spending any Earned Sansar dollars. This is to maximize the amount of Sansar dollars eligible for conversion when the time comes.
  • As stated in our December blog, the conversion rate from S$ to USD will be S$250:$1. Anyone who has created their Sansar account before December 31, 2018 will receive a legacy conversion rate of S$143 to $1 until December 31, 2019, after which the conversion rate for all accounts will be S$250 to $1.
  • We’ve also re-enabled the Process Credit page to allow you to initiate moving USD to your PayPal account. Please allow up to 30 days to complete a request.

One thing that strikes me immediately is that this new policy unfairly penalizes musical performers and other people who receive tips or gratuities in Sansar dollars from audience members. From now on, income received as a gift does NOT count as “earned Sansar dollars”, and will not be able to be cashed out as U.S. dollars. I think that this is a short-sighted decision on Linden Lab’s part, which might negatively impact the use of the platform by musical performers and other entertainers.

Also short-sighted is the decision that Sansar dollars “received through a promotion” would no longer be eligible to be exchanged into U.S. dollars. This means that, from now on, any contest prizes of Sansar dollars can no longer be cashed out of the system.

On a more positive note, it does look as though people will now be able to move their earned U.S. dollars to their PayPal accounts, which is something that many people have long been waiting for. However, it’s not clear whether or not non-Steam users will be able to buy Sansar dollars via their PayPal accounts, or if they are still restricted to credit cards (from what I understand, Sansar users who downloaded the client from Steam are able to use PayPal to buy Sansar dollars using their Steam wallet).

What do you think? Please feel free to leave a comment on this blogpost, or join the RyanSchultz.com Discord and voice your opinion there.

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