Bitskins in Turbulence | Where to Trade Skins in 2019?

Valve Corporation has built a multi-billion dollar market by adding cosmetic items to CS:GO and Dota 2 and letting players trade them on Steam and third-party platforms. But despite such a massive turnover, the market still seems immature and largely unsafe. The most recent turbulence in it was caused by news from one of the biggest skin marketplaces, BitSkins. Within a few days, it announced a shutdown and then re-opening, leaving gamers and traders scratching their heads. Why does this happen? Is there something to worry about for players and skin traders? Let’s answer the second question first – no, there certainly is nothing to worry about. The skins market continues to exist and we have trusty services that have taken all the necessary steps to remain in the area of legitimate skin trading and play by the rules of Valve. This article will help to understand the current situation with the skin market and find working and reliable alternatives.

Bitskins: dead or alive? 
The information about the marketplace shutdown has been announced by the CEO of Bitskins, Inc. As Atif Nazir explained on Reddit, it was a result of fraud committed through Steam bots of this service. Someone dishonestly got items and tried to sell them through Bitskins. Valve took action to prevent such a situation and it turned out that Bitskins is incapable of providing its users with a secure way to trade skins. After the announcement, listing and re-listing of items to Bitskins accounts were disabled as was depositing of funds to account balances.

Please, take a look at the whole message on this screenshot:

However, in a few days, Bitskins was sold to new owners who wasted no time to announce that the platform was to stay open. But this post on Reddit was later removed making the whole situation even less clear and more shady.

OPSkins situation?

It’s always a shock when something like this happens in the area of skin trading. Probably, you can remember the OPSkins platform that was closed by Valve some time ago. Is this the same situation? Not at all!
Of course, we don’t know all the details behind Bitskins’ decision but its CEO at least tried to be clear with the users – the platform allowed fraud and can’t prevent it in the future.
OPSkins was unable to follow new (at the time) rules of Valve but they tried to hide their intention to do this and potentially facilitate gambling with skins. The cases of these two services are definitely different but the result can still be the same.

Is Bitskins legit in 2019?
Going back to the main topic for players and skin traders nowadays, it’s obviously better to forget about this site, at least for now, and move to other platforms. Technically, Bitskins is still legit in 2019. Valve has unrestricted accounts of this service and, in theory, it could continue its work. In practice, the situation is different. The new owners of the platform were quick to announce that everything is alright. They even promised the users a couple of exciting changes such as a reduction of fees, removal of the $2,000 trade amount limit, and return of crypto payment options. But nothing was told about how the new team was going to prevent fraud that forced the previous owners to step off. That’s why important questions should be raised.

Can you trust Bitskins?
Is Bitskins safe to use? The platform’s former owners proved themselves to be honest, that’s why they decided to close the site. But the new ownership team is unknown within the gamingcommunity and their background is unclear. On Reddit, gamers suggest that Bitskins is effectively a different site now, and I agree with them. We don’t know who are the new owners and how they are going to do their business. Also, they didn’t tell how they are going to fight fraud to which Steam reacted a couple of weeks ago and might react even harder in the future, putting all assets on Bitskins accounts in danger. For this reason, using Bitskins is obviously risky at the moment.

Bitskins Alternatives 
The situation with Bitskins is not cheerful. Still, the skin trading market is not limited to this service. There are other sites, so players and traders just have to choose the best alternative.

- Bitskins vs OPSkins 
It’s not a good decision to use OPSkins. Their reputation is bad enough to avoid the service by all means. In fact, you can’t find real skins there. OPSkins sells just images unsuitable for games. It’s a fake marketplace now that was unable to recover from the above-mentioned ban by Valve.

- Bitskins vs CS.Money 
It’s not really an alternative. CS.Money is an exchange service with no possibility to sell or buy skins. You can choose skins from your inventory and exchange them for some other skins from bots. It’s quite a good service though, with a good reputation, so if you need to get new cosmetics, you may find them there.

- Bitskins vs DMarket 
It’s the best solution on the market right now. DMarket is a marketplace for trading skins and it’s an exchange service too. This service exists for quite a long time and has a good reputation – they follow Valve’s rules and have quite a big community.

Buy/Sell/Exchange with DMarket
Even if Bitskins is dead, long live legit skin trading! For now, DMarket is really the best option for trading and exchanging CS:GO and Dota 2 cosmetic items. Those who can’t wait for a buyer can use the Instant Sale feature there (for a cheaper price, of course).
Other games are not available on DMarket yet which is a downside of the service. Probably, they will add new titles in the future.

Our favorite multiplayer games are going on regardless of the Bitskins situation. The same is true for skin trading. Don’t get upset – enjoy gaming and use trusty services for your trades.

by Alex Miller

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