June 28, 2011 10:08 ET

Virtual Goods Market to Reach $2.4 Billion in 2012

ROCKVILLE, MD--(Marketwire - Jun 28, 2011) - has announced the addition of the new report "Virtual Currency and Social Network Payments - The New Gold Rush: How Emerging Virtual Transactions Will Alter the Payments Landscape Forever," to their collection of E-Commerce market reports. For more information, visit

The virtual goods market has experienced significant growth in recent years, with growth projected to increase from $0.6 billion in 2009 to $2.4 billion in 2012 in the U.S. alone. Virtual goods, which comprise virtual currency as well as other intangible objects purchased for use in online games or communities, are housed within the "virtual economy" -- an artificial economy that originally developed within traditional online games but has since expanded to social networks and other online communities. Following the growth of the virtual economy, virtual currency has also experienced substantial growth and has now moved beyond the online gaming realm.

Virtual currency -- which can be used to purchase virtual, digital, or physical goods and may also be exchanged for traditional currency -- presents both new opportunities and developing threats to traditional payments services and providers. This report explains the rise of virtual currency in both traditional online games and social networks and highlights a mix of important players within the space.

Primary questions answered by the report includes

  • What is the virtual economy? What's the difference between the e-commerce market, the digital market, and the virtual market? How do they overlap?
  • What is virtual currency? How is it similar to or different from physical currency?
  • How have the online game and virtual goods markets influenced the development of virtual currency?
  • How is virtual currency used by social media and social networks?
  • How is the market potential unique for key virtual currency vendors?
  • What are the regulatory implications of the rise of virtual currency?
  • What are some of the security implications of virtual currency?
  • What is the market opportunity for traditional and developing payments services? Who stands to benefit, and who may be threatened?
  • What are the future implications of virtual currency? What is the global impact?

For more information, visit

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