Last night, Steam unleashed its Holiday Auction promotion which allowed users to bid gems earned from cycling Steam community items to score copies of about 2,000 games. The first auction round is supposed to end at Monday, December 15, with every following round spaced at 45 minutes increments.
But once users were placing ridiculous bids of about 40,000 gems in each round of auction, Steam saw fit to halt the auction, which was supposed to run from December 15-18. According to several threads on Reddit, there apparently is a duplication glitch involving booster packs that have allowed users to accumulate Gems.
Steam has left the following message on the auction's FAQ:
Sorry, but there have been some issues with Gems and the Steam Holiday Auction has been temporarily closed. The elves are working frantically to get the issues sorted out, and the auction will start again as soon as they're done.
According to the FAQ, a disruption in the Holiday Auction may allows Valve to "reverse invalid transactions or provide an alternative for game auctions and/or Steam Gem transactions."