Proposed Korean law to burst virtual economy bubble

Koreans shopping in COEX Mall, Seoul, Korea

Remember Wang, the Chinese student who made a killing selling virtual MMORPG items? Bad news for Koreans who want to duplicate Wang’s fortunes. According to reports, South Korean lawmakers are planning to ban commercial trading in the virtual currencies used by online gamers before the year ends. Official estimates have placed the annual Korean virtual economy at almost US$ 900 million.

In Korea, gamers too busy to invest time building up their characters can go to specialised virtual brokerages and shop for virtual currency and in-game items.

Although some consider this as a form of cheating, it is not illegal. Yet. The new law will fine companies in Korea in this line of business but not  exchanges between individual players. This means Korean companies can set shop outside the country and continue their business. But additional rules to regulate this loophole are already being planned for the second quarter of next year. The proposed law is meant to curb the “wide variety of social ills” such as identity theft blamed on the new industry.

Koreans shopping in COEX Mall, Seoul, Korea

Remember Wang, the Chinese student who made a killing selling virtual MMORPG items? Bad news for Koreans who want to duplicate Wang’s fortunes. According to reports, South Korean lawmakers are planning to ban commercial trading in the virtual currencies used by online gamers before the year ends. Official estimates have placed the annual Korean virtual economy at almost US$ 900 million.

In Korea, gamers too busy to invest time building up their characters can go to specialised virtual brokerages and shop for virtual currency and in-game items.

Although some consider this as a form of cheating, it is not illegal. Yet. The new law will fine companies in Korea in this line of business but not  exchanges between individual players. This means Korean companies can set shop outside the country and continue their business. But additional rules to regulate this loophole are already being planned for the second quarter of next year. The proposed law is meant to curb the “wide variety of social ills” such as identity theft blamed on the new industry.

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