- Valve banned the trading and selling of container keys in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. They did so to counter money laundering.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is one of the biggest games in the world, on top of being a tier 1 esports title. The game has consistently attracted players worldwide due to its skill-based gameplay. But, it’s not only the gameplay that has attracted gamers in the past. The rush of collecting expensive skins and making money out of it has been a significant reason attracting players to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. With the recent patch, though, a lot of things have changed.
The main currency of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive “Container keys” has been regularly used for trading online on Reddit and other trading platforms. Today will be a historically sad day for all the traders of rare skins. The keys which are purchased with real money and used to unlock loot boxes in the game can no longer be resold or traded. To put it simply, once a key has been purchased in an account, it can be used in that account only. The purchaser can’t forward them at all, thus making it impossible to trade it or sell it on the community market.
This surely has caused a lot of uproars. The reason behind the ban is a moralistic one. Valve believes that the trading platform in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with the help of keys is secretly being used to launder money. “In the past, most key trades we observed were between legitimate customers,” the company wrote on the Counter-Strike website.
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“However, worldwide fraud networks have recently shifted to using Counter-Strike: Global Offensive keys to liquidate their gains. At this point, nearly all key purchases that end up being traded or sold on the marketplace are believed to be fraud-sourced. As a result, we have decided that newly purchased keys will not be tradable or marketable.”
They also added in an apologetic manner that while some legitimate traders might be affected by the ban, “Combating fraud is something we continue to prioritize across Steam and our products”.
Valve further said that “pre-existing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive container keys are unaffected–those keys can still be sold on the Steam Community Market and traded.”
This is a major step from Valve. Seeing big companies taking the moral high ground is quite rare these days. The thought of losing a lot of money from the market is hard to keep as secondary. This is a very community-friendly move from Valve. Valve has been known to take such huge steps in the past too. They investigated a scam by two YouTubers who had been exploiting the reward system of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for their personal gain from a gambling website.
After the recent orders in France regarding the terming of these random reward system as gambling, Valve took appropriate measures to stay in accordance with the law and to avoid any conflict with the French Government. The standard Valve is setting should be a benchmark for other companies to follow.