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Paper Type

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Abstract

While prevailing scholarly opinion often emphasizes the suitability of virtual worlds to small-scale laundering operations, this paper challenges this perspective. Previous literature has overlooked the substantial monetary value associated with online gaming accounts and virtual assets, particularly given the rapid growth of the microtransaction business model. The growing demand for virtual items and currency has provided diverse channels for cybercriminals to convert their illicit funds from account and virtual theft. This paper addresses this gap by presenting three novel arguments supporting the view that the online video gaming ecosystem allows for laundering to occur at scale. Arguments are corroborated by empirical data of Roblox’s virtual economy—the Limiteds marketplace—where 1.45 million transactions from Jan 1st to Dec 31st, 2023, are analyzed. The findings overwhelming support the conclusion that the online video gaming ecosystem allows for large scale laundering to occur.

Paper Number

1598

Author Connect URL

https://authorconnect.aisnet.org/conferences/AMCIS2024/papers/1598

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Aug 16th, 12:00 AM

Online Video Game Laundering: A Bayesian Trial

While prevailing scholarly opinion often emphasizes the suitability of virtual worlds to small-scale laundering operations, this paper challenges this perspective. Previous literature has overlooked the substantial monetary value associated with online gaming accounts and virtual assets, particularly given the rapid growth of the microtransaction business model. The growing demand for virtual items and currency has provided diverse channels for cybercriminals to convert their illicit funds from account and virtual theft. This paper addresses this gap by presenting three novel arguments supporting the view that the online video gaming ecosystem allows for laundering to occur at scale. Arguments are corroborated by empirical data of Roblox’s virtual economy—the Limiteds marketplace—where 1.45 million transactions from Jan 1st to Dec 31st, 2023, are analyzed. The findings overwhelming support the conclusion that the online video gaming ecosystem allows for large scale laundering to occur.

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