Steam stops accepting payments in bitcoins

09 December, 2017, 13:28 | Author: Darren Santiago
  • Steam suspends Bitcoin support due to high fees

As of today, Steam will no longer support Bitcoin as a payment option.

Valve notes that some Bitcoin transactions have had fees as high as $20. However, a new blog post, the company has announced that the site will no longer accept Bitcoins as a method of payment due to the constant volatility of Bitcoin's value and high transaction fees. This can add significant cost to a standard purchase of a digital game. "For example, 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 20 cents when we initially enabled Bitcoin".

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

It noted that value is only guaranteed for a short time.

Moreover, Valve said that "The high transaction fees cause even greater problems when the value of Bitcoin itself drops dramatically". Its volatility and transaction costs are a common sticking point for those looking to use it as a currency, yet the possible solutions to these pitfalls could imperil the decentralization that makes bitcoin appealing in the first place. In either case, it's clear that Bitcoin isn't going away anytime soon, but Valve's lack of support for it might have an impact on its value. Basically, if the value of bitcoin changes while a customer is finalizing an order, the order will either need to be refunded or Valve must ask the customer to transfer more bitcoin to cover the purchase.

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". "The amount it can change has been increasing recently to a point where it can be significantly different", the blog post reads.

Steam's original policy was to refund the original payment method back to the buyer or request additional Bitcoin to cover the change in value. The company adds that it may re-evaluate if accepting the cryptocurrency makes sense at a later date.

Valve's decision comes as crypto-cash mining market NiceHash reported a "security breach" had meant hackers had accessed its Bitcoin wallet, which had contained about $60m in bitcoins.

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