Fraud and Volatility Lead to Steam’s NFT, Crypto Bans
Steam stopped supporting Bitcoin years ago and banned games “built on blockchain technology that allow the exchange or issue of cryptocurrencies or NFTs”. This was in October 2021. Gabe Newell, Valve’s president, is now providing some insight into these decisions and explaining how volatility and rampant fraud led them.
When Newell was asked why Steam decided to remove games that use blockchain technology from its publishing policy, he said it was “illegal sh*t”. Newell did not go into detail, but he said that the sketchy behaviour Newell describes is widespread with NFTs, and the “smart contracts” have been a pain for artists and the platforms selling them.
Newell is not afraid to point out the negative aspects, but he also explains how Rock Paper Shotgun can help us distinguish the good from the bad. Sure, there might be a need for these technologies that were not being met, I would eat it. But, everything we want to believe can “fix” ends up without any practical implementation. It’s not about the technology or the reason for doing what they do, but the actors.
Newell also mentioned cryptocurrency volatility in his Rock Papert Shotgun chat. He said it made customers “super mad” and that these fluctuations in currencies like Bitcoin can cause huge discrepancies in assessing what is reasonable and not. Newell once again pointed out fraud. Half of all cryptocurrency transactions on Steam were fraudulent, according to Newell.
Newell stated that another thing was that most of these transactions were fraudulent. “People were denying transactions or using illegal funds sources and other such things.”
Although Steam’s rejection of blockchain-based games seems to be well received by its users, it doesn’t necessarily mean everyone is listening. Epic’s founder agreed with those who believe there is utility and welcomed Blockchain-based games to the Epic Games Store, provided they aren’t up to any shady activities. It’s all still not convincing right now. It doesn’t compensate for evil, and it’s no carbon emission exchange, so every more thoughtful implementation seems a little more like a pipedream for game systems that create artificial scarcity in a race against the clock to capitalize on play-to earn models.
Although I don’t want to champion Valve, the biggest PC platform in the industry is telling you more about the shittiness here and dispelling any notion that we all have a hard time accepting less-energy-hungry tech. For a reminder, go to the Ubisoft Quartz nonsense. They understand why I hate hearing about yet another NFT thing.