Steam no longer allows you to pay with cryptocurrencies or NFT

The founder of the digital video game distribution platform Steam, Gabe Newell, has spoken about the reasons that have led him to prohibit transactions using cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Steam, one of the largest communities for lovers of online video games, pioneered the use of cryptocurrencies to make payments more than five years ago, but the truth is that the result of those transactions was not what was expected. For this reason, since last year Steam has paralyzed the use of bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies as a form of payment on its platform.

It has been in an interview with PCGamer where Gabe Newell has explained his refusal to continue accepting cryptocurrencies and NFTs at a time when they are fully integrated and mainstream. The company’s decision is multifactorial and is due to a series of circumstances, but there is one that stands out above the rest.

in 2016

One of the first platforms to accept bitcoins

Gabe Newell, founder of Steam, in 2019

Gabe Newell, founder of Steam, in 2019

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The Steam platform integrated bitcoins as a payment method in April 2016, banning them shortly after, at the end of 2017. At that time, Newell assured that the decision was due to “high rates” but has now explained to PCGamer the real reasons.

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The main reason for that decision was that half of the transactions turned out to be fraud. “We had problems when we started accepting cryptocurrencies as a payment option. 50% of those transactions were fraudulent, an amazing figure. They were clients that we did not want to have,” Newell explained in the interview.

They are clients that we do not want to have

Gabe Newell, founder of Steam, in 2019

Gabe NewellSteam Founder


The Steam library, one of the reference video game platforms

Third parties

But fraudulent transactions were not the only explanation the founder gave. Newell also spoke of the volatile price of bitcoin, since it was a headache for the company. One day, a game could cost 20 euros in bitcoins and the next its cost could rise to 100. And finally, he talks about the high fees that currency exchange houses charged to change from bitcoins to dollars, which reduced their Benefits.

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Regarding NFT games, Newell explains that “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.” It seems that they do not convince him enough either and, at least until the market matures and stabilizes, the founder of Steam will continue to steadfastly refuse to incorporate them again.

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