An Entropia Universe participant can acquire the ATM card from MindArk, the developer of Entropia Universe. The card is associated with the participants' Entropia Universe account (similar to a bank account), allowing one to efficiently and securely access funds to make a withdrawal of virtual money (Project Entropia Dollars) in real life currency using any Versatel machine around the world. All of the features of transferring, withdrawing, depositing, viewing account balances and more are available with this virtual ATM system. This innovative service for Entropia Universe members provides true economic freedom and puts them one step closer to bridging the gap between the virtual and real world.
"The ATM system is a crucial and significant element in the true monetization of virtual currency, by supporting instant and convenient conversion to real cash," says Jan Welter, CEO of MindArk, developer of Entropia Universe. "MindArk is changing the online gaming and virtual community landscape by introducing a real cash economy that offers validity and secure monitoring of one's funds. We aim to become unique forerunners of online virtual entertainment, and with the ATM technology and economic stability of our universe, we are creating the next level of the online experience."
Entropia Universe is the only virtual gaming community that actively supports sales of virtual products with actual cash value within its real economy system. The economy offers the user a secure and safe way to make purchases, sales and exchange real-life currency into PED (Project Entropia Dollars) and back again into real money, at a fixed exchange rate to the US Dollar. PED allows members to invest in personal development and growth through the acquisition of goods, buildings, and land in the virtual universe. In 2005, the Entropia Universe turnover was an estimated $165,000,000 million US dollars.
"I think the ATM card is the Holy Grail of Massive Multiplayer Gaming that everyone has been looking for," says Jon NEVERDIE Jacobs, recent winner of the Virtual Space Resort in Entropia Universe. "It is incredible to now think that it is possible to manufacture and sell a virtual item one minute and then go out and buy a real dinner the next minute, with the same funds!"
The heart of Entropia Universe lies in a distant planet named Calypso, encompassing two continents with large expanding cities that offer a variety of entertainment and social interaction for its citizens. Members of Entropia can create their own persona (avatar) via a character generation system, then having the option of choosing a suitable life and virtual existence for their avatar. Characters are able to enter the evolving world full of unexplored and uncultivated lands where they can join a community or even create a civilization of their own. Entropia Universe offers a new way for individuals to pursue dreams and fantasies through an adventurous virtual experience.
In December 2004, Entropia Universe set a world record, certified by the "Guinness Book of World Records," when it sold a virtual Treasure Island for $26,500 USD as the largest virtual dollar amount spent, to 22-year old Australian David Storey, a.k.a. "Deathifier." The recent sale of the Space Resort for $100,000 USD to famed gamer, Jon 'NEVERDIE' Jacobs, sets a new record for the most valuable virtual item.