This is an article on valves brand-new key change update. This update is a pretty big deal and if you haven’t heard of it we’re going to start just by explaining what it means. So to paraphrase of what’s in it, it basically says “any keys purchase going forward won’t be tradable or marketable, they’re going to be blocked to your account”. And the reason for this according to valve is that worldwide fraud networks have recently shifted to using csgo keys to liquidate their gains. At this point, nearly all key purchases that ended up being traded or sold on the marketplace are believed to be fraud sources. And then goes on to explain how they don’t think this will affect the vast majority of csgo uses. It emphasizes that existing keys aren’t going to be affected. So if you have keys in your inventory, those keys are unchanged you can still sell them. And they also express some remorse for legitimate users and ask for feedback.
Valve isn’t completely indifferent to the training community with this update. They k it will affect people and they’ve specifically made sure that pre-existing keys aren’t affected. However, there are a couple of aspects to this update that i find a bit dubious. What this is going to do to the market? So on the explanation given for this update, which is to combat fraud. I have no doubt there are tons of fraud involved in key sales. I suspect you get heaps of stolen credit cards, coming onto a platform buying keys and then trying to quickly sell them on cash-out sites as a form of money-laundering. We don’t k if there’s being pressure from regulators or whether this is just there’s initiative. But i can see why they’d want to make this change.
Keys price fluctuation
But when we get to the steam market part that i have some doubts about their explanation. They claim the vast majority of keys sold on the market are related to fraud. And i find it hard to believe that’s true. First of all the steam market can’t be used to launder money. If you sell a key on the steam market the money stays in your steam balance. It’s useless for liquidating the cash you’ve stolen. You can only do that through the trading function to sell your keys on third-party sites. Also if there was a shift to use csgo keys to liquidate stolen money and selling keys on the steam market was part of that, you’d be able to see this by looking at the volumes of keys sold on the steam market. To clarify something the certain currencies are cheaper to buy keys on the steam market rather than in-game. So what happens is that people from countries with the cheapest keys sell their keys on the market to people from countries with the most expensive keys. And the person who sells the cheaper key makes a couple of cents profit and the person who buys from the more expensive country saves a couple of cents on their keys. And let’s look at the sales volume of the prisma case key. Weakness in the argentinian currency leads to making it cheaper for a lot of people to buy keys on the steam market hence the high volumes until they are fixed things. Secondly, exploit during the steam summer sale that allows people to level up their accounts via buying heaps of keys, resulting in mass buying of keys, flooding the market causing prices to drop and therefore pushing down the volume sold on the market and it ends when the steam summer sale ends. Thirdly another spike due to a shock result in the argentinian elections causing a massive currency crash, which allowed them to buy keys at a massive discount. Naturally, they then went and followed the market with these discount keys allowing everyone else to buy keys at a massive discount, until valve stepped in and fix the price of keys in argentinian pesos. The fourth situation, volumes dropping off at the end here due to the release of the cs 20 case.
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Does it really prevent money laundering?
what you can’t see is any sustained increase in the amount of keys being sold on the market. If fraud networks had recently started selling keys on the steam market as part of their efforts to liquidate their gains, you would be seeing an increase. And it’s just not here. And it’s not in the horizon case key either or the danger zone case key or the spectrum case key. The only cases where i saw anything possibly resembling a pickup in sales are the spectrum 2 keys and the clutch keys. And not only are these pretty pity increases they just so happen to coincide with the games player base reaching record highs. Which in turn would mean more people buying keys. I can see why they have decided to block trading for keys i can see why that would have been used in money laundering and i see why they’d want to stop that. But i don’t see the rationale here for preventing keys from being sold on the steam market i don’t see how it helps prevent people from laundering money, i don’t see anything suspicious in the sales patterns they actually directly contradict valve’s narrative that nearly all these sales are involved in fraud in’, maybe valve ks something that the public doesn’t that changes the situation. The evidence is available to me directly goes against what valve saying. So i can see why they’ve taken away trading keys i can see why that would be involved in fraud. But i can’t understand why they’ve taken away selling keys on the steam market.
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Effect on community
And thankfully i don’t think this will be that big a deal. Because if you’re looking to cash out money through keys for non-criminal purposes it is annoying. But if you’re just to sell skins i don’t think losing keys as a currency is that big a deal. Because at the end of the day there are other currencies available to people. One is dota 2 arcana’s they’re quite popular at the moment. But another is real money that there’s a huge ecosystem of third-party sites allowing you to buy and sell skins for real money very easily. So while it might be annoying it’s not really that much of a paradigm shift. At the end of the day instead of modern you k the modern csgo skins economy, we don’t need keys it might suck for things like card bots of work based on keys but they can adapt. And i think the community can adapt just fine. We’ve got other currencies we can use it’s not the end of the world. And in the meantime, if you’ve got some of these exclusive tradable keys, well guess what. That keys is getting more expensive so you may as well enjoy them.