So there I was, standing tall, looking good, with money in my pockets. I was looking for investment opportunities to grow my very small fortune, and I thought, “I wish I could lend money at interest.”
I know the response, “You can.” Yes, I know nothing is stopping me from handing out money at Jita. I could even bring out a notepad and record who pays me back. It probably wouldn’t be a long list. Then I thought, “Wait a minute, there’s contracts in this game!” Of course, there’s no option for loans or anything resembling loans in this game. I think that’s an oversight.
A loan contract function opens up a lot of mechanics that are currently lacking. The main function would be “Exchange specified goods time now. Receive other specified goods time later.” With that, players could loan each other… money, ships, stations, stuff, whatever, and the game would show a player’s history of completing loan contracts. That would, in effect, create a credit score that players could check before lending money. We could even go so far as to create bank corporations, and the banks would be able to more easily see a player’s lend-worthiness. This would also open up options such as futures trading. Maybe I think PLEX is going to go up in value, so I borrow ISK at interest from another player, which I then use to buy PLEX. When the contract reaches maturation, I’ll need to pay back my lender the agreed upon ISK return number in a certain “maturation window” to not fail the contract. By allowing stuff as well as ISK for a loan contract, we’d also enable “short selling.” In that case, let’s say I think PLEX is going to go down in value. So, I ask to borrow PLEX. Let’s say someone loans me 500 PLEX for 30d, and at that date, I need to pay him back 550 PLEX. We further agree I have 5d after the maturation date to fulfill the contract. I then accept the loan of PLEX, and I put the PLEX on the market for sale. I sell the PLEX, and 30d later (hopefully with a lower price) I buy 550 PLEX. I then use the contract window to return 550 PLEX to my lender.
So, in short, I think CCP should introduce a loan contract for both ISK and stuff. Loaning at interest is the basic foundation of a modern economy. It would give the uber-rich players something to do with their trillions, and it would introduce a wide range of possibilities. Plus, think of how excited those Econ YouTubers would get!