I signed the last Therebuck buyback checks today. While I was very sad about the circumstances, I was glad we were able to pay so many designers in real US dollars for what they contributed to There over the years. All in all, we sent out thousands of dollars in buybacks which we converted straight across at 1800 Therebucks to 1 US dollar — the same rate at which we sold Therebucks while There was open. While it was a small gesture, There was in no way obligated to convert those Therebucks, but we were glad and proud we did it.
If there’s a next time, we’d open There with a currency arbitrage system in place from the get-go so designers and other contributors can benefit from the beginning in real US currency in a secure and safe fashion.
Lots of people have asked why they couldn’t get the money they spent in There back (money they spent more than a month before we closed). The answer to that is simple: That money went to pay for office space, salaries, power, cooling, software licenses, health benefits, etc, etc. As much as we would have liked to be able to go back to PG&E and said “Can we have the money we paid you for electricity back?”, or to the employees and said “Can we have your salaries back?” I’m pretty sure they would have said “No”, along with everyone else.
That’s why it wasn’t possible to refund everyone everything they’d spent in There.