The Internet, as a forum, is increasingly becoming a place of transaction. The rise of online credits proves this. Arising in education, gaming, retail and other areas, online credits are a way to transmit real value to other users, and then apply it in a commercial or otherwise practical function. Using online credits shows that the Internet is a robust medium, and will become a stronger commercial forum in the decades ahead.
There are many types of online credits available. The most popular form of online credits, by far, is when it relates to online universities. Taking online courses for credit earns you online credits once you complete these courses. These credits are analogous to real credits found on a transcript after you take a course in a physical classroom. Massive online open courses, or MOOCs, also offer online credits, although MOOCs are still in their infancy.
Another form of online credits are connected to retail. If you think about it, this is not that big of a stretch. When you visited a department store downtown as a kid, you often visited a customer service clerk, and she would give you in store credit. In store credit was your passport to buy anything in the store, and charge it as one would use a credit card. Today, most department stores still have a house card.
Online credit is really an extension of that concept. Most online credit is offered through giant Internet merchants, who extend it as a form of store credit. Needless to say, these online credits cannot be processed at other Internet retailers.
Finally, there appears to be a form of online credits associated with gaming. Anarchy online credits, for instance, are online credits you can buy in the eponymous role playing game, each associated with a different character. Other massive multiplayer online role playing games have similar concepts.
Online credits mean different things to different people. What is amazing about online credits is that they transmit value online. This is a testament to the fact that the Internet is truly a global marketplace, and should be seen as a place where ideas and values can be exchanged.