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Author Topic: Team Fortress 2 Items to Bitcoin  (Read 4674 times)
Anonymous
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July 31, 2011, 09:26:55 PM
 #1

Team Fortress 2 is a first-person shooter with an in-game economy. People trade hats, weapons and other items for US dollars and other items.

I wish to introduce Bitcoin to the equation and enable people to easily purchase Bitcoins with a credit card by trading a certain item along the way:



This item is called a Mann Co. Supply Crate Key. It is capable of producing rare items within game and therefore has a definable intrinsic value. It is the most liquid item that can be purchased directly -- and if sold lower than its retail price, it can be converted to US dollars relatively easily.

A rough visual: http://i.imgur.com/2h0Yi.jpg

The concept requires one to have an installation of Valve's Steam software and Team Fortress 2, both free. One can then add the funds they wish to spend on Bitcoins, purchase the keys, then join a server that has people buying keys for Bitcoin.

The keys will always be $2.49 a piece from Valve and the Bitcoin market on the server will adjust accordingly. The resell value for keys will be less if traders wish to profit from their trades. However, this will provide a more affordable venue for trusted traders that can use this market with alternative payment methods.

Questions? Who wants to help me get a server up?

EDIT: It seems Valve adjusted the tradeable times for keys. So, one would have to combine them with another item from the person you're trading with if you wanted to do instant transactions. Well, I thought it was a cool concept.



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July 31, 2011, 09:42:58 PM
 #2

I don't really understand why you think it's irreversible. It's still fraught with all the other dangers of chargebacks that credit cards are - all you're doing is introducing a pseudo-currency and making use of Valve's anti-fraud department.

There's absolutely nothing to stop someone setting up a Steam account, using a stolen credit card to buy some keys and then getting Bitcoins with those keys.

The best case scenario in that is that the user's TF2 account gets banned (not a huge deal if they only used it to trade Bitcoins) and they lose some BTC... worst case is you start a Steam-wide crackdown on selling of virtual items.

^_^
Anonymous
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July 31, 2011, 09:56:56 PM
 #3

I don't really understand why you think it's irreversible. It's still fraught with all the other dangers of chargebacks that credit cards are - all you're doing is introducing a pseudo-currency and making use of Valve's anti-fraud department.

There's absolutely nothing to stop someone setting up a Steam account, using a stolen credit card to buy some keys and then getting Bitcoins with those keys.

The best case scenario in that is that the user's TF2 account gets banned (not a huge deal if they only used it to trade Bitcoins) and they lose some BTC... worst case is you start a Steam-wide crackdown on selling of virtual items.

Well, it's irreversible for the traders. Valve will effectively deal with thieves and fraudsters. They will not void other people's assets in-game. That has yet to be seen. They will claim back their losses in other ways, I'm sure.

People have been trading items for thousands for quite awhile. Your scenario probably already occurs albeit indirectly. It's doubtful Valve will crackdown on virtual sales... If that's even possible.
Anonymous
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July 31, 2011, 10:05:23 PM
 #4

In addition, if this were to become an active way to get Bitcoins, Valve's revenues would soar. They would have everything to gain by allowing this considering that item sales are what mainly funds TF2. 
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July 31, 2011, 10:27:21 PM
 #5

What?

Johnny B)
Anonymous
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July 31, 2011, 10:29:55 PM
 #6

What?
: |
Anonymous
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July 31, 2011, 11:22:45 PM
 #7

I don't see how this is a good idea. You're trying to base an economic system off a children's game?
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July 31, 2011, 11:29:18 PM
 #8

I thought this was a novel idea when you first mentioned it.  I can see how someone might like this as a way to turn dollars into bitcoin, but that requires a willing trade partner. I haven't been able to wrap my head around why someone would trade their bitcoins for these keys and then be stuck trying to unload the keys somehow for currency.    How easy and fast is it to unload the keys for cash?  

Also, what's to stop someone at valve from giving themselves an arbitrary amount of keys for free and turning them into bitcoin?  And is there any information about the total supply and demand of keys, how many keys are in existence and how (and how often) they are created?

Buy Electronic Cigarettes with Bitcoin @ http://bitvapes.com
Anonymous
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July 31, 2011, 11:31:28 PM
 #9

How easy and fast is it to unload the keys for cash? 
If they are cheaper than Valve's keys, I think you can sell them off in a reasonable amount of time. Really, it has to be tested.
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July 31, 2011, 11:36:30 PM
 #10

How easy and fast is it to unload the keys for cash? 
If they are cheaper than Valve's keys, I think you can sell them off in a reasonable amount of time. Really, it has to be tested.


is there an inplace system or market where people are buying and selling keys for dollars?  If not, you would have to create some kind of OTC market with a trust system to trade the keys for currency, and we already have an OTC market with a trust system for trading bitcoins for currency

Buy Electronic Cigarettes with Bitcoin @ http://bitvapes.com
Anonymous
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July 31, 2011, 11:59:40 PM
 #11

How easy and fast is it to unload the keys for cash? 
If they are cheaper than Valve's keys, I think you can sell them off in a reasonable amount of time. Really, it has to be tested.


Why does this terrible idea have to be tested? It depends entirely on one person investing a bunch of money into buying these keys and assuming a whole slew of other "what ifs" when there's already an easier way to do every step of what you're trying.
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August 01, 2011, 12:39:46 AM
 #12

I'm not keen on the idea but, to clear a few things up.

TF2 is quite violent even if it is colorful. It's not a childrens game, it's just a game, there are IMO many much better similarly popular games but it's each gamers choice.

People have valuable ingame items aready earned ingame, they then want to sell them for dollars, this is the bigger thing than using this as some sort of exchange. As far as I know there are much more valuable things than the random prize key.
Anonymous
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August 01, 2011, 01:27:12 AM
 #13

It's a game targeted at teenagers and young adults. This is not a good basis of an economic system.

Atlas, if this is a good idea why don't you invest your own money into it? I had a business idea, I invested. I didn't make countless threads filled with ideas.
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August 01, 2011, 01:42:13 AM
 #14

It would only work if you had a ton of people who HAVE bitcoins and WANT tf2 keys, the market for that has to be like 10 users tops.
Anonymous
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August 01, 2011, 04:15:44 AM
 #15

It's a game targeted at teenagers and young adults. This is not a good basis of an economic system.

Atlas, if this is a good idea why don't you invest your own money into it? I had a business idea, I invested. I didn't make countless threads filled with ideas.
I bought server hosting. I am giving this a shot.

In addition, I don't solicit investments for everything. I will speak my mind as much as I please.
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August 01, 2011, 05:31:06 AM
 #16

TF2 is quite violent even if it is colorful. It's not a childrens game, it's just a game, there are IMO many much better similarly popular games but it's each gamers choice.
TF 2 is a simulator.

war-themed hat simulator.  Tongue


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August 01, 2011, 05:42:32 AM
 #17

Atlas, you are one strange fellow.
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August 01, 2011, 05:51:26 AM
 #18

@Atlas
Hit me up via pm, ill be up for joining/testing your server.

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August 01, 2011, 06:08:23 AM
 #19

If they are cheaper than Valve's keys, I think you can sell them off in a reasonable amount of time. Really, it has to be tested.

Maybe I've missed it, but where exactly do you explain how to solve the issue of chargebacks/disputes with the person cashing the keys out? I mean, it seems like all you're doing is complicating the process with extra steps at very little security benefit (plus you run the risk of absolutely trashing the market for keys... which I don't believe is bigger than a few thousand per day total at best).

Please don't take me as overly negative of the idea: microtransaction-based games are probably a great un-tapped market for Bitcoin... I just can't help but wonder if this idea isn't as thought-through as you think it is.

^_^
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August 01, 2011, 10:35:11 AM
 #20

It gets FAR easier in the future:

Blizzard just announced they will have an USD marketplace in Diablo III.

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