When cryptocurrency and NFT gaming started to go mainstream last year, Steam was one of the first platforms to clearly position itself against it.
Some called the PC game store retrograde. Without a doubt, people who have a short memory, because Steam was a pioneer in accepting bitcoins, back in 2016. And things didn’t go very well…
The founder of Steam, Gabe Newellwho these days has been distributing Steam Deck consoles around the houses, like one more Amazon delivery man, has granted an interview to PCGamer where he explains why Steam does not accept cryptocurrencies or NFTs. And the truth is, they are very strong reasons.
There is not a single cause, but a set of circumstances that has led them to make this decision.
Steam accepted bitcoin as a means of payment in April 2016, and retired in December 2017blaming “the high rates“. Now we know that was not the only reason.
The main cause is that half of bitcoin transactions on steam were fraud: “We ran into problems when we started accepting crypto as a payment option. 50% of those transactions were fraudulent, a staggering number. They were clients that we did not want to have“.
Neither those clients, nor the intermediaries: “The problem is that many of the actors that are in that space are not people that you want to interact with your customers.Newell explains.
Fraud is a compelling reason, especially with that percentage. But there is more. The founder of Steam also complains about the volatile price of bitcoinwhich for them was a nightmare.
One day a game was worth 20 euros in bitcoins, and the next day its price had skyrocketed to 100 euros. They had to constantly adjust prices, and it was crazy.
Finally, also quote the high rates charged by currency exchange houses to convert bitcoins into dollars, which reduced their profits.
And while it is fair to say that the cryptocurrency market is now more serious and stable, many of those reasons have not changed.
TO Gabe Newell is also not too convinced by the nft games, at least as they are mounted now: “There is a lot of interesting technology in the blockchain and in how to do a distributed ledger, but I think people have not understood why a distributed ledger is needed“, Explain.
“There is a difference between what should be and what is currently in the real world. And that’s where we run into the issue of blockchain-based NFTs: a lot of them are scamming customers.“.
And continues: “We do not want to allow a large number of our customers to be scammed. There is nothing inherent in distributed ledgers that makes them problematic. Only, so far, our experience has been almost always the same.“, he concludes.
So it looks like, at least until the market matures, Valve will continue to deny the use of cryptocurrencies and NFTs on Steam. Of course, they don’t need it to make money…