SAN FRANCISCO - February 19, 2010
Social Gold, the leading virtual currency and payments solution for thousands of online games and virtual worlds, today announced a new workshop series focused on virtual currencies called“Cha-Ching” along with the launch of the Social Gold panel of virtual goods economists. Panelists include John Zdanowski, CFO of Avatar Reality, makers of Blue Mars (formerly of Linden Lab, makers of Second Life) and Prakash Ramamurthy, CTO of LifeLock (formerly of Gaia Online), who will also be providing keynotes at the first workshop. Both Zdanowski and Ramamurthy bring extensive experience in virtual currencies, product strategy and financial modeling for Internet businesses. The Cha-Ching Workshop series will feature panels and discussions with thought leaders in the virtual goods industry to discuss casual games, social games and virtual worlds. The first workshop focused on“The Virtual Economy” will be held on March 11, 2010 from 10:00am until 2:00pm PST in San Francisco at The Box SF just two blocks from the Moscone Center.
“As the virtual goods market continues to grow, virtual currencies will play a larger role in the core monetization strategy for publishers,” said Vikas Gupta, host of the Cha-Ching Workshop.“As such, it has become increasingly important for thought leaders in this industry to collaborate together, and we’ve created the Cha-Ching Workshop to facilitate this discussion.”
The Cha-Ching Workshop will offer a half-day of panels and talks dedicated to the key fundamental drivers of virtual currencies. It will bring together the luminaries from casual games, social games and virtual worlds in a collaborative environment with the goal to encourage cross-vertical learning. A group of experts will cover topics ranging from effective virtual goods strategies and monetization of virtual goods to building a virtual currency business online. Following the keynote discussion, a variety of hot-button topics will be circulated throughout the room so that teams can discuss, brainstorm and conduct mini-presentations based on their expertise and interests. Through these interactive events, the Cha-Ching workshop series will be a significant driver in encouraging leaders in the virtual goods space to collaborate.
Keynote speaker John Zdanowski was the CFO of Linden Lab from 2003 to 2006 as the Second Life economy grew from $10 million to a half a billion dollars annually. "I’m excited about the Cha-Ching Workshop as a place for industry participants to discuss the unique challenges associated with managing virtual economies, currencies, fraud and payment systems. I will be sharing insights learned from growing Second Life’s successful virtual economy and how we’re approaching building a new one in Blue Mars,” said Zdanowski.
Having recently joined LifeLock as CTO this year, keynote speaker Prakash Ramamurthy was most recently the Senior VP of Product Management and Engineering for Gaia Online, and formerly the VP of Identity Management and Security Products for Oracle. "While the virtual goods market is expected to exceed $1.6 billion this year there is still much opportunity to grow, and the Cha-Ching Workshop series serves to address the challenges of operating virtual economies as well as identify the solutions to help foster the growth of this industry," said Ramamurthy.
For more information on the Cha-Ching Workshop, please contact Social Gold at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Social Gold™
Social Gold™ is an industry-leading virtual economy platform owned and operated by Jambool, Inc. The Social Gold platform enables developers to create and manage their own white-labeled virtual currency, provide an unparalleled payments experience to their users, and optimize their virtual economy using robust analytics. Through innovation in Flash-based payments solutions, a sophisticated fraud management system and an easy-to-integrate API, Social Gold has received recognition as an outstanding platform for powering virtual economies. Jambool, Inc. was co-founded by Amazon.com veterans Vikas Gupta and Reza Hussein and has offices in San Francisco, Seattle and Singapore. For more information, please visit http://getsocialgold.com.
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Kate Pietrelli, TriplePoint