Last night, the Steam Community Market suddenly started valuing items at exactly the same rate in Indonesian rupiahs and U.S. dollars, meaning that an item that cost $1 also cost a single Rupiah. Normally, a dollar is worth 13,000 rupiahs. Ruh roh.
The glitch led prices to skyrocket, or plummet, depending on which side of the international currency conversion rate one was on. Prices of items that cost a few bucks in the U.S. fell so sharply for Indonesian buyers that they were all but free. Non-Indonesian buyers, meanwhile, were faced with massive price hikes—as PC Gamer pointed out, “something being sold in the Indonesian currency for 3.9 million Rupiahs (roughly $300) would be showing as a direct 1:1 conversion of $3.9 million.”
Valve eventually disabled the market entirely after reports of currency meltdown began to pop up on Reddit. Come late morning, the company released a brief statement on the whole kerfuffle, while simultaneously reopening the market (emphasis added):
Early this morning, a problem with our currency exchange rate data allowed users who use Indonesian Rupiahs in their Steam wallet to make purchases on the Community Market at heavily discounted prices. We have reverted as many of these purchases as possible. Steam Trading and the Community Market were both disabled while this rollback process was occurring, but are now enabled once again.
A relatively small set of users have one or more transactions where the item was restored back to the seller, but the wallet funds have not yet been returned to the buyer. We are still working to resolve this issue and appreciate your patience while we sort everything out.
Users using codes to add Indonesian Rupiahs to their Steam Wallets may have noticed that the wrong amount was added. These credits will be fixed later today.
Crisis averted, it seems. Or, at least, a long-term crisis. Flash market crises like this are always scary regardless of how quickly they’re repaired, though. The speed at which all-digital economies can be adjusted by a proprietor like Valve is equal only to the rate at which a malignant or malicious force can destabilize it.