Steam is no longer accepting bitcoin as a payment method, game company and distributor Valve announced today. Valve stated "transaction fees that are charged to the customer by the Bitcoin network have skyrocketed this year, topping out at close to $20 a transaction last week (compared to roughly $0.20 when we initially enabled Bitcoin)". Valve has no way to control these fees, which can raise the costs of games to unreasonably high amounts that have to be shouldered by customers.
But this only applies if you were holding BTC and wanted to see the price drive up, meaning you wouldn't use it in the real-world if the value continues skyrocketing like it has this year - going from $1000 to almost $13,000 in 12 months.
Valve is opting not to open itself up to these high transaction fees and associated costs with customers who choose to pay with Bitcoin, which has now valued at $12,000 apiece. With Bitcoin values changing so rapidly, the amount of Bitcoin needed to cover a purchase can change significantly between the time a purchase is initiated and when it's completed. Steam did not return a request for comment by deadline, and its announcement did not say how long it has been accepting bitcoin.
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The company said that it may revisit its decision in future, but at the present time it is "untenable" to support it as a payment option. On Jan. 1 this year, bitcoin was priced at just under $1,000. The value of a bitcoin hit $10,000 for the first time near the end of last month. Bitcoin has gone from less than $1000 Dollars to over $13,000 in 2017, and investment interest is high.
The way it worked in this situation was that Valve would refund the payment or charge more to cover the remaining balance. This creates a problem for customers trying to purchase games with Bitcoin.
Many organizations are still reluctant to trust blockchain technology, however others have found good use cases for it apart from Bitcoin.
Valve has not announced if they will ever allow the use of cryptocurrencies on Steam again, but for now users should plan alternative options for payment if they were only using Bitcoin. Besides, very few people user Bitcoin for everyday transactions because of the very slow processing speeds and high fees involved per transaction.