According to reports from Korea, the National Assembly (the Korean legislature) is considering a bill that will make trading in virtual gold a crime, specifically with fines assessed on companies that buy and sell the stuff.
Ted Castronova from Terra Nova sees this as a long-needed shot across IGE’s bow… but in a global industry where IGE is already based offshore, I suspect this will be about as effective as the US Congress shutting down online poker.
In fact, I wonder if this actually makes RMT trading by the companies themselves actionable. Considering that the purchase of virtual items is a very popular business model in Korea, it’s worth wondering if the cure may not be worse than the disease…
However, it’s worth noting that in technology matters, Korea tends to be about 5 years ahead of the West. I suspect we may see legislation here as well eventually. For good, or for ill. Most likely, both!
(Edit: Looks like Raph already have some good analysis up as well.)