Funny money

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Virtual money, when backed by trust in the guarantor, can function like any other currency. QQ coins are online tokens, created by Chinese Internet company Tencent, that can be sold for cash on the Web. The Wall Street Journal writes:

The trouble starts when a virtual currency that isn't backed by a trusted government, becomes linked to a real one that is through an exchange rate. Virtual currency brokers call that RMT, or real-money trade. When that happened to the QQ coin, it effectively turned into a parallel currency operation alongside the yuan, says Yipping Huang, the chief Asia economist of Citibank.

QQ coins, currently priced at $0.13, are no laughing matter for the Chinese authorities who fear that the real-money trade, estimated at $2 billion a year, may facilitate money laundering and even an emergence of underground economy.

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