If you have been living under a rock for the past few years, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is a wildly popular team-based multiplayer first-person shooter game published by Valve in 2012. It is played by as many as 11 million players per month, and is a staple of competitive gaming, with many tournaments around the world. Since December 2018, Valve offers the game free to play and gets its profits from the sale of game items.
As such is the case, it is not a surprise that a huge market has developed around the trading of CS:GO game items, but the participants still suffer from a dependency on some centralized platforms. For example, when the dominant venue for trading CS:GO skins at the time (Opskins) was issued with a cease and desist order a couple of years ago, users got just 15 days to withdraw their skins from the platform and close to $2 million worth of items that hadn’t been reclaimed in time were lost forever. Bitcoin.com Local aims to change all that with the power of the Bitcoin Cash network, enabling users to list their items for sale without the risk of trusting any centralized 3rd party with custody.
The developers explain that by utilizing Blind Escrow, a feature created on the BCH blockchain, users can transact directly peer-to-peer without having to trust the other party or the exchange provider. With this technology, the developers have created a trustless peer-to-peer market for Steam game items. And unlike other solutions, users do not have to lock their items up with the exchange while they are listed for sale. This means they can continue to use their items in game until a buyer purchases their listing. Additional advantages include low fees, no burdensome KYC requirements, no restrictions on deposits or withdrawals, and no limits on price per item.
The trade of CS:GO items has been plagued by risks like chargebacks, sellers failing to send items after receiving payment, and third party custody failures. Bitcoin.com Local set out to solve this problem after community member Luke Lynch recognized that the platform’s blind escrow was the solution and reached out to the Bitcoin.com team. He explained:
When I first came across the trustless escrow technology built on top of the Bitcoin Cash network, I was impressed. Previously, I had seen many instances where third party escrow providers had exit-scammed users, resulting in the loss of funds.
Following the successful integration, users can now connect their CS:GO Steam inventory to their Bitcoin.com Local account and trade items without risk thanks to the platform’s blockchain-powered blind escrow, which protects both the seller and buyer. Sellers can set any price and will receive BCH for their items, which can then be sold for USD, EUR, and other fiat currencies directly on the platform. This contrasts Steam’s own Community Market, which limits the price to below $2,000 and prevents users from cashing their earnings out from the Steam ecosystem.
Sellers also pay significantly lower fees on Bitcoin.com Local: less than 1% compared with up to 15% on other platforms. Additionally, unlike trading platforms Bitskins and Skinbaron, they can continue to use items that are listed for sale. Luke concluded, “The idea of a trustless marketplace where users can list items for sale and then continue using them in-game, while also saving a huge amount on fees and not having to trust the reputation of the other party in the trade, or the escrow provider in the middle, is very appealing.”
Bitcoin.com Local was launched in June 2019, soon after the leading platform at the time removed the option for users to transact coins in person for cash. The platform lets traders choose any payment method they want for making transactions, including bank transfers, Paypal, Alipay, Venmo, cash in person and gift cards. And while many centralized exchanges are now forcing users to jump through hoops like submitting a selfie with their passport or government ID to prove their identity, Local enables you to trade anonymously and without any KYC, which has likely contributed to its rapid growth.
Beyond exchanging crypto for fiat, the platform recently added a dedicated portal for buying and selling anything else. This Marketplace is a Craigslist-like venue for listing goods to be sold for bitcoin cash. It can allow anyone to earn BCH directly by providing a service and gives bitcoin cash users another venue to spend their crypto in.
If you haven’t signed up yet, the process takes less than a minute. After getting an account you can immediately create offers or trades on Bitcoin.com Local. The exchange is protected by two-factor authentication, a wallet backup, and a blind escrow system for secure trading. The blind escrow allows people to trade without worrying about a third party or even Bitcoin.com touching the funds. You release the funds when you want to settle a trade and it’s technically impossible for our website to spend BCH held in escrow. Bitcoin.com Local can provide mediation for dispute resolution but the blind escrow system ensures only the buyer or seller authorizes a withdrawal.
You can see all the new CS:GO game items available for sale here.
What do you think about the ability to safely trade game items for bitcoin cash? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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