Virtual Bank Run Holds Real Lessons : Planet Money Bank failure is getting a dry run in the virtual world of EVE Online. The largest player-controlled bank in the game has frozen customer accounts after an embezzlement scandal and mismanagement.
NPR logo Virtual Bank Run Holds Real Lessons

Virtual Bank Run Holds Real Lessons


An ad for how to get rich in ISK, the currency of EVE Online.

Bank failure is getting a dry run in the multiplayer online game EVE.

In recent weeks, EVE's largest player-controlled bank has hit the skids after one player embezzled and sold for real the InterStellarKredits -- ISK -- that are the coin of the imaginary realm. That caused a run on the bank. Then came an admission from Ebanks's CEO of bad management, followed by a string of loan defaults. Now the bank has frozen customer accounts. Ars Technica has the rest:

The main problem with Ebank's account freezing is that it could do some serious harm to the game's economy, mainly because players won't be able to withdraw their funds in order to pay for in-game goods and services.

Listener Brian Saar, who sends the story, calls it "a virtual laboratory for what happens without the FDIC."