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The Korean Supreme Court has ruled that the virtual currency of online games is effectively equal to real-world dollars.

The ruling came about as a result of a case against a pair of men (surnamed Kim and Lee) who had purchased Aden, the currency used in the online game Lineage. The men purchased 234.0 million won (approximately $207,614.00 U.S.) worth of Aden on the cheap, reports [URL=http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2010/01/116_58775.html]the Korea Times[/URL], and resold it to gamers, making a cool profit of 20.0 million won (approximately $17,747.00 U.S.) in the process.

The pair was arrested on charges of illegally making money and were found guilty by a provincial court, which cited a law banning the swapping of real currency for virtual. They were fined fined 2.0 million won and 4.0 million won respectively. An appellate court overturned that ruling, before prosecutor’s appealed to the country’s Supreme Court, who ruled that acquiring in-game currency was a factor of skill, not luck.

Prof. Chung Hae-sang at Dankuk University offered his thoughts on the judgement:

[INDENT]The ruling has brightened the future of the Korean game market. So far, the industry's growth has been interrupted by tough regulations.

[/INDENT]One estimate pegged the amount of virtual currency exchanged online in Korea over the course of 2008 at over one trillion won (one trillion won = approximately $887.0 million U.S.).

|Via [URL=http://www.massively.com/2010/01/13/korea-rules-that-virtual-currencies-can-be-exchanged-for-real-mo/]Massively[/URL]|


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