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Valve President Gabe Newell Doubles Down on Anti-Crypto Stance, States Half of Steam Bitcoin Transactions Were Fraudulent

In interviews with both PC Gamer and Eurogamer, Gabe Newell talks about his views on Crypto and the number of fraudulent transactions on Steam.

Gabe Newell

According to Gabe Newell, the President of Valve, half of all crypto transactions on Steam, the popular PC gaming platform were fraudulent before removing Bitcoin as a payment option.

When speaking with PC Gamer, Newell delved into details, stating that “We had problems when we started accepting cryptocurrencies as a payment option. 50% of those transactions were fraudulent, which is a mind-boggling number. These were customers we didn’t want to have.”

The crypto space is populated with actors that, “are not people you want interacting with your customers,” he stated.

Bitcoin was introduced as a payment option back in April 2016, though the experiment was abandoned a year later in December, the reason being cryptocurrency’s price volatility and “a significant increase in the fees to process transactions on the Bitcoin network.”

He also took the time to talk to Eurogamer in a completely separate interview, where he noted that cryptocurrency volatility meant that customers “had no idea what price that they were actually paying,” also adding to this, the fact that, “Yes, they were anchored to a cryptocurrency, but most people’s wages are not in cryptocurrencies.”

Newell is still skeptical about the benefits of distributed ledgers and blockchain technology, but the company remains open to the possibilities nonetheless.

“There’s a lot of really interesting technology in blockchains and figuring out how to do a distributed ledger,” Newell said to PC Gamer. Adding to that he said, “I think that people haven’t figured out why you actually need a distributed ledger.”

In late 2021, the decision to ban games “built on blockchain technology that issue or allow the exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs” had them making headlines.

Since then, Newell has only doubled down on that stance as is evident from recent interviews. He tells PC Gamer, for instance, that many NFT games were “ripping customers off.”

Then, speaking with Eurogamer, Newell said “The things that were being done were super sketchy.” He also shed some light on how there was “illegal shit going on behind the scenes, and you’re just like, yeah, this is bad.”

When admitting that blockchain is indeed, “a great technology,” Newell was also quick to add that, “the ways in which has been utilized are currently are all pretty sketchy. And you sort of want to stay away from that.”

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