In an update on the Counter-Strike site, Valve has said it’ll no longer allow people to sell CS:GO container keys purchased within the game to be sold on the Steam marketplace – or even traded with others. While this doesn’t really impact players who buy the keys, it ruins things for a certain subsection of Steam users: money launderers.
Valve has either finally realised that Steam’s marketplace is being used to turn dirty money clean, or it’s been leaned on by government or payment processing companies to clean Steam up. Valve says that pre-existing keys can be sold, but any future purchases will be locked to the account they were made from.
“Why make this change? In the past, most key trades we observed were between legitimate customers. However, worldwide fraud networks have recently shifted to using CS:GO 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 tradeable or marketable.
For the vast majority of CS:GO users who buy keys to open containers, nothing changes; keys can still be purchased to open containers in their inventory. They simply can no longer be traded or transacted on the Steam Community Market.”
Video games seem to be a popular way for the internet’s seedy underbelly to launder money – and This has been going on on the Steam marketplace since Team Fortress 2, so it’s curious that Valve is finally doing something about it. It’s often been suggested that much of G2A’s activity indirectly funds crime too. Scammers buy lists of credit cards, use those to buy hundreds and thousands of game keys in bulk. When the credit card companies wisen up, the money gets taken back from the game publishers, while the keys get sold on places like G2a and criminals walk away with “clean” money.
Last Updated: October 29, 2019