Shortly after launching The Steam Holiday Auction, Valve was forced to shut down and restart the entire event because of a series of exploits which allowed users to gain extensive amounts of "Gems". This allowed users to use the Gems which they had gained towards bidding in auctions and since they had such a high amount of Gems, they had a much higher chance to win every auction they participated in. This resulted in an uproar from the Steam Gaming community who quickly notified Steam about the exploit.
The Steam Holiday Auction is a new event managed by Valve and showcased by Steam. The way it works is that you can convert your Steam items such as backgrounds, trading cards and emoticons which you have earned into Gems. Gems are a form of virtual currency which is being used for this event. Using those Gems, you can bid on games that have been put up for auction and if you win the auction, the game is for you to keep. The best part about this whole event would have to be that you would not have to spend any real money during the auction since you would be recycling your old items for Gems.
A little while after the event kicked off, a fair amount of users began to notice that their Gems had vanished from their account. The users affected began to post discussions under the Steam Reddit page and while that was happening, other users stumbled upon techniques to double the amount of Gems they had in their account. A few more users found a method to gain Gems very quickly which resulted in one user having a balance of 1.9 billion Gems. All of these users had greatly increased their chances at winning the auctions which was unfair to those who had earned their Gems without using an exploit. Valve eventually closed down the event to fix all of the problems that arose during the initial launch. Steam has also taken care of the accounts with an extremely high Gem balance so users are continuously being reassured that this re-launch will work as planned.
After the maintenance period, Steam put up an announcement under the Holiday Auction page explaining that the event is now back up and running. They also briefly talked about what had happened regarding the Gem situation.
- All Gems created by you have been returned to your Inventory
- All Gem purchases from the Community Market have been reimbursed. View your Store Transactions to see the Wallet Credit to your account.
- All previous Auction bids have been canceled and the Auction has been reset.
- Additionally, anyone who traded away items in exchange for Steam Gems on the first day of bidding will receive a copy of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in their Inventory.