The turnover of video game currencies that can be exchanged for regular money may soon undergo regulation in Russia, according to a report by Izvestia citing the country’s Federal Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring). The watchdog expressed concerns about the unregulated status of the video game industry, particularly the multiplayer online game market, which has witnessed a surge in criminal activity in recent years. The ease of transferring in-game currency and the large volume of transactions on gaming platforms allow criminal transactions to go unnoticed among billions of other transactions, explained Rosfinmonitoring.
In-game currencies are used within games to purchase items, tools, or player packs, and they can be convertible or non-convertible. Convertible currencies allow users to exchange real money for in-game currency and vice versa. This type of currency is widely used in popular online games such as Second Life, Entropia Universe, and Roblox. On the other hand, non-convertible currencies can only be used within the game to purchase in-game items and cannot be exchanged for real money.
The existence of specialized exchange platforms for convertible game currencies has highlighted the need for regulation in this area. Rosfinmonitoring emphasized that the unregulated turnover of these currencies poses a risk, making it imperative to establish regulatory frameworks.
According to experts’ estimates, the global revenue from video games, excluding eSports, exceeded $214 billion in 2021. The significant growth of the gaming industry has prompted discussions on implementing anti-money laundering measures within the virtual gaming world. Viktor Dostov, the chairman of the Association of Electronic Money Market Participants and Money Transfers, stated in a column for Forbes Russia that practices similar to those employed in banking or the cryptocurrency market will eventually be extended to the regulation of virtual gaming currencies.
The potential regulation of video game currencies aligns with the broader trend of governments worldwide addressing the challenges posed by the digital economy. Countries are increasingly grappling with issues related to online transactions, virtual currencies, and the potential for criminal activities in the digital realm. Regulating the turnover of video game currencies is a logical step toward mitigating risks and ensuring transparency and security in the gaming industry.
As the gaming industry continues to flourish and generate significant revenue, stakeholders must recognize the importance of establishing comprehensive regulatory frameworks. These frameworks should address not only the exchange of in-game currencies but also measures to combat money laundering and protect gamers from fraudulent activities.
In conclusion, the unregulated turnover of video game currencies in Russia is likely to face regulation in the near future due to concerns about criminal activities and the potential risks associated with these transactions. The growing revenue generated by the gaming industry underscores the need for comprehensive regulation to protect gamers and maintain the integrity of the market. As discussions on anti-money laundering measures progress, the gaming industry must adapt and embrace regulatory frameworks that promote transparency and security.