Steam ends support for bitcoin

Bitcoin

Valve began accepting Bitcoin on its Steam service in 2016 to accommodate global users that might not have access to traditional payment options.

Steam, the gaming digital distribution service owned by Valve, will no longer take Bitcoin as a form of payment.

"Historically, the value of Bitcoin has been volatile, but the degree of volatility has become extreme in the last few months, losing as much as 25 [percent] in value over a period of days", Valve continued.

While it is pulling the plug on accepting the cryptocurrency for now, Valve isn't ruling it out completely, with it concluding the blog post saying that it may "re-evaluate whether Bitcoin makes sense for us and for the Steam community at a later date".

As of today, Steam will no longer support Bitcoin as a payment option. In a blog post, Valve explained that bitcoin transaction fees have gone up to almost $20 per transaction last week, "compared to roughly $0.20 when we initially enabled Bitcoin". "The high transaction fees cause even greater problems when the value of Bitcoin itself drops dramatically", the post read.

"When checking out on Steam, a customer will transfer x amount of Bitcoin for the cost of the game, plus y amount of Bitcoin to cover the transaction fee charged by the Bitcoin network", Valve said.

"These fees result in unreasonably high costs for purchasing games when paying with Bitcoin".

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The moment-by-moment shifts in value were a problem, Valve said, because of the narrow window customers had to complete a purchase using bitcoins.

Bitcoin's recent rise in value has made some of its investors rich, most notably the Winklevoss twins who bought $11 million of the cryptocurrency when each coin was valued at $120.

The cryptocurrency may be going through a hard time, but the long wait for the Lightning Network may now be close to over, as recently startups behind the three most active Lightning implementations revealed tests results that include live transactions.

The issue is that the Bitcoin price of a game can experience significant changes in merely a matter of minutes.

Steam's blog post adds that the platform usually solved the problem by either refunding users, or asking them to transfer additional funds to cover the remaining balance.

"This year, we've seen increasing number of customers get into this state", Valve said.

Bitstamp, one of the most established exchanges for cryptocurrency, announced that it would trade Bitcoin Cash in November.

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