July 24th, 2007 by Benjamin Duranske
Several sites are covering a claim on the website Your2ndPlace.com that the World Stock Exchange in Second Life was hacked, and approximately $L3.2m (US$12,000) was taken. Reuters has the most comprehensive story. [Update: Robert Bloomfield over at Metaversed has a more recently updated story up that discusses some of the fallout currently circulating.] [Update: Bloomfield has another article up, this time covering a meeting of the Second Life Exchange Commission to discuss this incident.]
Each time in-world criminal allegations like these arise, it increases the likelihood that real world regulatory bodies are going to step in. My prediction? We see a headline with both “Second Life” and “Securities Exchange Commission” in it within the year.
There is one really interesting legal question here — whether stealing Lindens from the WSE is a crime in the first place, or more like stealing from players in Ultima Online. After all, the WSE’s head ‘LukeConnell Vendeverre’ (along with other exchange leaders) recently took the position that “the exchanges are a game,” but I’ll leave that for later.
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