According to multiple reports, Venezuelan citizens suffering from the country’s horrible economy are now playing massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) to collect in-game items and sell them for bitcoin.
Venezuelan ‘Gold Farmers’ Are Selling Runescape Items for Bitcoin
Recently there have been many reports of Venezuelans “Gold Farming” on a MMORPG called Runescape. Recent headlines explain that in-game farmers are selling treasures for bitcoin to make a living. Gold Farming has always been considered a controversial and profitable operation since online gaming became extremely popular. The business model started trending in China where players acquire in-game currencies or items and later sell them for “real money”. In 2009 it was estimated that over 1 million gold farmers were based out of China, but in-game gold farming also happens all around the world. Because of the secrecy, it is hard to get an accurate figure on how much revenue gold farming brings in, but it was estimated to be about USD $300 million in 2008.
Runescape Gold Farmers Make More Money Than Venezuelan Professionals With Degrees
Venezuelans playing the game Runescape are aiming to kill as many green dragons as they can in order to collect 500,000 in-game gold which amounts to $0.50 worth of real money when sold. Most of the farming players are making roughly $0.50 per hour on Runescape which is allegedly a better wage than most in the country. Some Venezuelans can make up to $2-3 per hour if they have extremely good in-game skill sets and don’t get banned by the moderators. These productive players can kill the boss Zulrah repeatedly and make roughly 3M Runescape gold per hour. Venezuelans with this amount of in-game skill sets are making more money than most professionals in the country with college degrees.
A Guide to Getting Rid of Venezuelan Gold Farmers, While Papusgold Offers Netflix Credits and Bitcoin for Runescape Gold
Gold Farming on a MMORPG is against the rules in Runescape and many other online role-playing games. Furthermore, just recently someone posted a guide on Reddit detailing how to get rid of the Venezuelan gold farmers. Runescape gold and other MMORPG online items are sold on the black market in the country, and there are also online websites that purchase the in-game gold for bitcoin. A website called Papusgold.com is just one particular business who buys Runescape gold for BTC and Netflix credits.
Papusgold’s operators seem to want to stay anonymous as the website’s “about us” section is not very informative. The company appears to be based out of Caracas and has a Facebook page with close to 4,000 followers. One Facebook post describes a “scammer” trying to sell the business phony Runescape gold, and the company warns its clients to “be careful.” The company says it has been in the Runescape gold market for two years now and aims to “innovate the Venezuelan market by offering better prices to vendors.” According to one report, the gaming company Jagex which produces Runescape has been contacted about the influx of Venezuelan gold farmers but has yet to comment on the issue.
What do you think about Venezuelans playing the game Runescape to sell in-game gold for bitcoin? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Images via Shutterstock, and Runescape 2007.
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