A Reality Check For A Virtual Currency Crime

Despite mothers who decry the usefulness of video games and those who doubt the viability of Bitcoin, a court in the UK has made a definitive decision: sometimes, what’s virtual is also real.

The Mail Online reports that police recently arrested 19-year old Keiron Belmont for sneaking onto a friend's fantasy Internet game account, RuneScape, and giving away Helen Jenkin's six-year savings of virtual cash.

Belmont was reported to be staying at the young woman's house in Swansea. It was at her house that Belmont logged into the computer role-playing game and gave away all her credits.

Jenkin's called the police upon discovering Belmont has stolen her virtual money after a dispute. Even though the virtual coins have no spendable value in the real world, Belmont was charged and brought into the court as if they did.

RuneScape is a well-known gaming site with millions of players engaging from all over the world.

Mail Online reports that Prosecutor Anwen Evans told Swansea Magistrates Court, "He accessed her computer and logged on to the role playing fantasy game, RuneScape.

He traded away all the credits built-up over the past six years," he stated.

RuneScape is a popular online gaming site that allows players to collect virtual coins through various online tasks. Users can use the currency to purchase virtual gaming items such as armor and weapons by trading or through RuneScape's marketplace.

Gamer Jenkins had working hard for six years to save her coins, and believed that Belmont's actions should be treated as if the stolen currency were no different than real money.

Belmont pleaded guilty and admitted to logging onto the account without permission and making unauthorized modifications to computer products.

Belmont was slapped with an eight-month conditional discharge and forced to pay £16 in compensation.

To read the full story at Mail Online click here.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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