In their latest CS:GO update, Valve banned the trade and resale of CS:GO keys.
Valve’s attempts to combat money launderers and global fraudulent networks has resulted in a huge loss to the CS:GO trading community. CS:GO players can no longer trade or ban CS:GO keys on the community marketplace. This decision will not affect existing keys, however players making key purchases can only use keys on their CS:GO accounts.
How Does the Key Trade Ban Affect Users?
The CS:GO update bans the sale and trade of CS:GO keys in the community marketplace. This update will not affect most of the users who buy keys for personal use.
However, this update will have an adverse impact on the trading community. Counter Strike has a large trading community, which is basically a barter system for cosmetic items. Amidst the constantly changing values for cosmetic items, Counter Strike keys were always constant around the $2.5 mark.
Traders use these keys as the benchmark for valuating other cosmetic items. With keys no longer tradeable, Traders will move to other weapons to use as a similar benchmark.
There is a possibility of a huge shift in the values of certain cosmetic items due to this update. Key prices are already increasing in value resulting in a massive shift for most items’ values.
Why Was the Reason Behind Valve’s Decision?
Valve took the decision to ban the sale and trade of CS:GO keys to prevent global fraud companies from using their networks. Due to the constant nature of CS:GO keys, fraudsters all over the world were using the system for money laundering. In fact, according to Valve, nearly all key purchases in the system were fraud-sourced.
CS:GO players can read the full announcement below:
Starting today, CS:GO container keys purchased in-game can no longer leave the purchasing account. That is, they cannot be sold on the Steam Community Market or traded. Pre-existing CS:GO container keys are unaffected–those keys can still be sold on the Steam Community Market and traded.
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.
Unfortunately this change will impact some legitimate users, but combating fraud is something we continue to prioritize across Steam and our products.
If you have feedback or concerns about this change feel free to email us at CSGOTeamFeedback [at] valvesoftware.com with the subject “Key Restriction”.