A quick apology to my readers: my day job has been a little nuts and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future, but I will nonetheless take the occasional break to work on the blog. My enthusiasm and interest in Bitcoin has not waned in the least, and I'm still extremely excited about its prospects.
If you haven't already read my article on Ogrr.com from October of last year, I encourage you to have a read. At the time, I felt Payward Inc. was tapping into the most logical and relevant market for Bitcoin; four months later and I dare say they've proven me right.
Since they opened their doors to the public, Ogrr's user base has expanded rapidly, with nearly 1300 members signed up as of today, and 800 registrations in the last month alone. More importantly, Payward's Jesse Powell reports that a large chunk of the new membership are gamers first and Bitcoin users second, meaning the site is doing a fantastic job as an ambassador for Bitcoin.
Ogrr's growth can be attributed to the fact that Bitcoin is hands-down the most efficient and inexpensive means for gamers to move their online wealth from one virtual world into another (or to the real world). Other sites, like BitMit, Bitcoin's most successful auction site, are also being used by gamers in a similar fashion.
In December, when Ars Technica touted Bitcoin as a potential competitor to currency-moving companies like Western Union, the article failed to touch on the potential for Bitcoin to impact the way virtual currencies are traded, which is a far more natural application for Bitcoin.
For the moment, there's merely a crack in a massive dam holding back a multi-billion dollar virtual goods industry from spilling into the Bitcoin economy. This crack will quickly widen in the coming months. Even today, I could conceivably slay a bunch of monsters in World of Warcraft and buy my very real dinner with the proceeds.
Thanks to the archaic banking system, Bitcoin isn't (yet) the easiest means of transferring wealth between the United States, Europe, or Japan, but it is definitely the easiest way to transfer wealth between Britannia, Norrath, and Azeroth. Based on Ogrr's performance to date, we're going to see Bitcoin catch on pretty quickly amongst the "citizens" of these worlds.