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Steam Has Banned Cryptocurrencies, NFTs, And Blockchain From The Platform

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Steam Has Banned Cryptocurrencies, NFTs, And Blockchain From The Platform

One of the big conversations and trends in tech right now is crypto. It seems that everyone and anyone is talking about whether they believe NFTs (or non-fungible tokens) are a good idea or harmful for the environment, or perhaps a decentralised system of currency is the way forward. And although there are all sorts of arguments that people can come up with to support crypto, blockchain, or NFTs, Steam and its parent company Valve have decided that they have no place on the gaming storefront.

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As reported by NME, Steam has updated its guidelines to ban these forms of currency. The Rules and Guidelines page on the platform now has a line stating. "applications built on blockchain technology that issue or allow exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs" shouldn't be published on Steam.

Age of Rust is one such application. The developers of the "first-person adventure" where players "collect in-game NFTs" took to Twitter to talk about their disappointment in the decision. "We chose to be upfront about blockchain gaming & NFTs. As a result, we finally lost the battle with Steam. While I'm disappointed for Age of Rust being removed, the point is more to the fact that Blockchain games as [a] whole are going to be removed. This is [a] setback for all.

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"Steam's point of view is that items have value and they don't allow items that can have real-world value on their platform. While I respect their choice, I fundamentally believe that NFTs and blockchain games are the future. It's why I started this journey with all of you." The developer goes on to say that it will publish the game elsewhere when it's ready.

Though this may be disappointing to some, there has also been a wave of support for the removal of these applications from Steam. Many don't think that the benefits of decentralised systems outweigh the undeniable environmental effects of the practice.

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But in response, Tim Sweeney, CEO of the Epic Games Store, has welcomed blockchain technology.

Epic says to The Verge that it's "open to games that support cryptocurrency or blockchain-based assets". Tim Sweeney then took to Twitter to say: "Epic Games Store will welcome games that make use of blockchain tech provided they follow the relevant laws, disclose their terms, and are age-rated by an appropriate group. Though Epic's not using crypto in our games, we welcome innovation in the areas of technology and finance.

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"As a technology, the blockchain is just a distributed transactional database with a decentralized business model that incentivize investment in hardware to expand the database's capacity. This has utility whether or not a particular use of it succeeds or fails."

It seems that Sweeney's approach and therefore Epic's approach is one of giving freedom to developers and their consumers. This has been less well-received than Steam's stance as a whole but it does give developers of games like Age of Rust an opportunity to put their work on another major storefront.

Featured Image Credit: Valve

Topics: Steam

Imogen Mellor
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