Steam no longer accepting bitcoin due to 'high fees and volatility'

Steam no longer accepting bitcoin due to 'high fees and volatility'

Bitcoin has risen in value for years, but the increase in the past several months has been especially explosive.

When Valve first started accepting Bitcoin as an option for Steam purchases last April, the cryptocurrency was trading around $450. However, in a new blog post today, the company announced that it would no longer accept the cryptocurrency.

"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.

Valve explained why surges like that can have an impact on purchases through Steam.

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Both situations mean the customer is again hit by the Bitcoin transaction fee, and the company said it's seen an increase in users falling into that predicament - resulting in underpayment. Valve explains that when it initially enabled bitcoin payments, the transaction fee was at roughly $0.20, but now it is close to $20. "The high transaction fees cause even greater problems when the value of Bitcoin itself drops dramatically", the post read. With Valve unable to control these blockchain-linked costs (passed on from third-party Bitpay), the company anxious that it was leading to "unreasonably high costs for purchasing games when paying with Bitcoin" (though apparently these are costs Bitcoin users as a whole have been willing to shoulder of late).

As a result, the bitcoin payment option has become "untenable" for Steam, with the company promising to "continue working to resolve any pending issues for customers who are impacted by existing underpayments or transaction fees".

It said it may re-evaluate Bitcoin as a payment possibility in the future. "The value of Bitcoin is only guaranteed for a certain period of time so if the transaction doesn't complete within that window of time, then the amount of Bitcoin needed to cover the transaction can change". But transactions can often take longer than the Bitcoin Network guarantees the value of the currency. "The amount it can change has been increasing recently to a point where it can be significantly different".

Various cryptocurrency enthusiasts attempted to get Valve to consider accepting other cryptocurrencies as an alternative to bitcoin. In the meantime, Steam said it may reconsider its decision to drop Bitcoin support at a later date.

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