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Gabe Newell explained why Steam banned NFTs – sketchy behavior and rampant fraud

A new round of interviews have come up where Valve boss Gabe Newell explained why Steam banned NFTs, and its a multi-faceted issue.

While Valve previously banned NFTs and cryptocurrency from being traded or utilized on their digital Steam behemoth, the company has been mum on just why they broadly banned the new tech platforms.

Gabe Newell explained why Steam banned NFTs, noting bad and or scummy people in the NFT community generally overshadow any potential good uses for the new technology.

“The people in the space, though, tend to be involved in a lot of criminal activity and a lot of sketchy behaviors,” Newell said to RPS. “So it’s much more about the actors than it is about the underlying technology.”

Newell explained that these kind of unsavory people are not the kind of people Valve wants to do business with. He went on to describe how that industry tends to be filled with people using NFTs as a way to rip people off, or even engage in money laundering. He also touched on the volatility of the tech.

“Like, why did I spend $497 one day to buy a game, and the next day I spent 47 cents, what’s going on here? Volatility is a bad thing in a medium of exchange,” he said.

Newell also confirmed that most of the crypto transactions on Steam were fraud. He said while fraud can’t be eliminated entirely, the ideal scenario would be where fraud is mostly mitigated and not a large number of the total share of transactions. Apparently at least half of all crypto transactions were fraud, to which Newell said “that’s just out of control, right?”

Another interview with Newell had the Valve boss talking up NFTs in Final Fantasy XIV, which Square Enix has already shot down any plans to implement the tech into their MMO.

“Most of the people who are talking about metaverse have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about. And they’ve apparently never played an MMO,” Newell said to PC Gamer.

He added, “They’re like, ‘Oh, you’ll have this customizable avatar.’ And it’s like, well… go into La Noscea in Final Fantasy 14 and tell me that this isn’t a solved problem from a decade ago, not some fabulous thing that you’re, you know, inventing.”

In related news, Valve’s recently launched Steam Deck is now available, and in three flavors: $399 (64GB), $529 (256GB), and $649 (512GB), over on the Steam store.

Editor’s Note: Credit via The Project NZ/ Gabe Newell. This is Niche Gamer Tech. In this column, we regularly cover tech and things related to the tech industry. Please leave feedback and let us know if there’s tech or a story you want us to cover!

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