Microsoft announced that it is retiring its virtual currency, Microsoft Points. This follows Facebook abandoning Facebook credits. Companies are trying to figure when and where it makes sense to have your own currency. The thing about a rewards-type currency, such as Microsoft Points, is that it adds a click to the buying process. Put in your credit card, buy Points, buy games (or movies or whatever). MS is saying, why not have it be just: Put in your credit card, buy games. What after all is the point of having the virtual currency in there?
Perhaps we are laready moving beyond virtual currencies to the next innovation, for which I conjured the name "digital value transfer." The technology FB has developed allows it to instantly and costlessly translate value from one app to another. Currently FB funnels any such transaction through dollars (so it can take its 30% cut). But it doesn't have to.
Games like Path of Exile have many things called currencies and a back-end system for translating the player's holdings of X, Y, and Z into different things of value.
The thing that makes Bitcoin valuable isn't Bitcoin, its the DVT that allows you to exchange Bitcoins for other things.
An economy backed by DVTs doesn't make any distinctions between the virtual entities it is tossing around. They may be currencies, or assets, or resources, or even virtual goods such as movies. Files. The DVT just knows how much of one thing is needed to exchange with another. Imagine a vast traingular matrix listing every good in the world. Each cell says how much one good is worth in terms of the other.