Gabe Newell Comments On Crypto/NFTs: It’s More About The Bad Actors And Less The Technology

Valve founder and billionaire Gabe Newell commented on two of the hottest topics in the tech and gaming world these days: cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Speaking with Rock paper shotgun Newell has doubled down on his lack of enthusiasm and enthusiasm for the crypto/NFT space, which is not surprising considering Valve banned games with crypto and NFT elements back in 2021. In a new interview, Newell said the underlying technology here is “pretty reasonable,” but implementing what we’ve seen so far is not what the executive is interested in.

“You have to separate the underlying technology from which participants are using that technology,” Newell said. “It’s like if you’re a chemist and you’re looking at nitrocellulose, you’re like, ‘Oh yeah, we can do some really cool stuff with it.’ And then if everyone is buying guns and shooting people with them, you’re like, “Hey, all that chemistry is great, but there are some results that could be negative.” Not to equate NFTs with shooting people, but the underlying technology of distributed ledgers, the notion of digital ownership, and shared universes all make sense.”

The people and companies involved in the NFT project these days are “not the kind of people you really want to do business with,” Newell said, stating that NFT technologies give attackers a chance to, for example, rob customers or get involved in schemes like money laundering.

“It has a lot more to do with the actors than it has to do with the underlying technology or rationale behind what we do,” Newell said.

As to why Steam doesn’t allow cryptocurrencies as a form of payment, Newell said the decision was due to price volatility. Not only that but cryptocurrencies are often associated with scams, according to Newell. Some scams will exist on any platform, but Newell said rates should not go beyond “half of all transactions that turn out to be fraudulent transactions.”

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