Purchasing games with Bitcoin in Valve’s Steam platform will soon come to an end, as the company is planning to cease support for the cryptocurrency.
Steam – Bitcoin Woe
This decision stemmed from Bitcoin’s “high fees and volatility”, especially in light of recent surges in its value. Which is causing headaches for Valve due to “a significant increase in the fees to process transactions on the Bitcoin network”, says the company in a post on Steam.
On which Valve elaborates on how this happens.
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 $0.20 when we initially enabled Bitcoin). Unfortunately, Valve has no control over the amount of the fee. These fees result in unreasonably high costs for purchasing games when paying with Bitcoin. The high transaction fees cause even greater problems when the value of Bitcoin itself drops dramatically.
The company then expands on the problems faced during transactions.
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. The amount it can change has been increasing recently to a point where it can be significantly different.
A workaround this to “either refund the original payment to the user, or ask the user to transfer additional funds to cover the remaining balance. In both these cases, the user is hit with the Bitcoin network transaction fee again.”
Though at the moment Bitcoin “has become untenable to support Bitcoin as a payment option”, Valve won’t completely turn its back on this cryptocurrency and will “re-evaluate whether Bitcoin makes sense for us and for the Steam community at a later date.”
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