eav_currency_treeYesterday EAv announced that it will be introducing a second virtual currency – called V’s – in the coming weeks. According to the announcement:

Any user will be able to use V’s, like airline reward points, through Empire Avenue to exchange for goods and services.

While the announcement is big on promises, it is short on details and leaves lots of questions about the value and benefits of V’s…

What we know

– V’s will only be available if you buy them from EAv or do a mission created by someone who buys them from EAv. (There is also mention of obtaining eaves through special events and promotions, but with no specifics we can’t count on this happening).

– You’ll be able exchange V’s for E’s but not the other way around. That means E’s – all of the virtual wealth users have built in the virtual stock market – have no “real world value.”

What we don’t know

– We still don’t have any idea what V’s will be able to be exchanged for. The announcement says users will be able “to exchange for goods and services, starting with Digital Entertainment mostly for those in North America” What is “Digital Entertainment?” Music downloads? Mobile apps? Movie rentals?

Value = Benefits / Cost = ???

The value of any product or service is the benefits it provides divided by the cost. So, what is the real world value of V’s? Let’s take a look…

Benefits: Some yet to be defined digital entertainment. In other words, unknown.

Cost: EAv reports users will be able to buy V’s but has not said how much they will cost. V’s can also be gained by doing V-based missions, but we don’t know what those missions will look like or how many a person will have to do before they have enough V’s ot be able to exchange them for something. In other words, unknown.

Value = unknown benefits / unknown costs = unknown

Bottom Line: unknown

I’ve participated in a few credit card/airline/hotel point systems that were worthwhile, but I’ve also tried some that weren’t, and I’ve passed on a lot of others that obviously weren’t going to provide good value to me.

At this point, no one knows whether EAv’s new currency/rewards will provide real value or not. Certainly no one outside EAv knows, and I don’t think anyone within EAv knows either. (I don’t think they know what’s going to be ofered in the marketplace and they haven’t decided prices or exchange rates).

People like to analyze announcements like this and determine whether it’s a “good” or “bad” move, but because so much is still unknown, the only basis for analysis is hope and speculation.

If you are optimistic and believe EAv will be able to offer beneficial products and services at worthwhile costs, then you probably have a positive impression of the announcement. If you are skeptical EAv can do that, you probably have a negative or neutral impression of the announcement.

Personally, my impression is neutral. However, I was expecting more details and fewer unknowns, so from that perspective the announcement fell short of expectations.

So, what is your impression?