Valve’s Gabe Newell Explains Why They Pulled Crypto Transactions from Steam


Bayani Miguel Acebedo

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Bayani is a freelance pop-culture newswriter that's been covering the news cycle since 2017. He writes mostly about TV and movies, but he also covers the biggest game news and makes sure to keep you up-to-date on the hottest titles. Though he does specialize on topics like Star Wars and Comic Book films, he also keeps up to date on none superhero properties like the latest movies and most buzzed about tv shows. He also has a podcast called Feed the Geeks which you can check out on Youtube, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts. He also draws original webcomics from time to time.


Though the concept of NFTs and cryptocurrency has been around for a while, it has only been getting some more scrutiny now seeing that more people are getting into the trend. One tech figure who apparently isn’t on the NFT hype train is Valve’s Gabe Newell, and he explains why they decided to pull crypto transactions from Steam.

Valve's Gabe Newell Explains Why They Pulled Crypto Transactions from Steam

Talking to Rock Paper Shotgun, Newell revealed that it was the volatility of crypto that lead his team to pull NFT transactions from Steam. He explains:

You have to separate the underlying technology versus which actors are utilising that technology. It’s like, if you’re a chemist, and you’re looking at nitrocellulose, you’re like “Oh, yeah, we can do some really interesting stuff with that.” And then if everybody’s buying guns and shooting people with them, you’re sort of like, “Hey, this whole chemistry thing is great, but there are some outcomes that can be negative.” Not to equate NFTs with shooting people, but the underlying technology of distributed ledgers, and the notion of digital ownership, and shared universes, are all pretty reasonable.

When it comes to the concept of crypto, Newell explains that it’s the users of NFT that have been questionable, and not really the idea of crypto itself. “The people in the space, though, tend to be involved in a lot of criminal activity and a lot of sketchy behaviours. So it’s much more about the actors than it is about the underlying technology, or the rationale for what we’re doing,” he said.

When Steam was accepting crypto for payments, it Newell said that it just made customers angrier. Because of the unpredictability of crypto, customers can be paying full price for something one day, then have it worth peanuts by the next. Newell said, “That was one problem, that sort of volatility was creating more pain for our customers than the value of having the option of using cryptocurrencies.”

With more companies jumping in on crypto though, it may seem inevitable that Steam would have to bring it back into their platform. I guess for now, we just have to wait for the systems to find proper regulations.

In the meantime, Valve is currently celebrating the release of their first console the Steam Deck, and you can find out more about it here.

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