Steam Announces It Will No Longer Support Bitcoin

09 December, 2017, 13:29 | Author: Shannon Newton
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The value has recently become very unstable and has been known to drop in value by as much as 25% over just a few days.

Valve might be backing out of Bitcoin support for now, but it said that it might revisit the issue and its impact on the company and the community in the future.

Along with Bitcoin's skyrocketing valuation, transaction fees charged to customers have also risen dramatically, from the 20 cents when the company enabled Bitcoin support two years ago to $20 last week, Valve said in a blog post. 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).

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In a blog post on Wednesday, Steam wrote that "In the past few months we've seen an increase in the volatility in the value of Bitcoin and a significant increase in the fees to process transactions on the Bitcoin network".

For example, when customers made product purchases, the transactions were set to a fixed value for Bitcoin - but only for a set amount of time. But in the case of bitcoin, high transaction fees can make those resolutions costly.

The problem stems from the fact that Bitcoin's value is guaranteed only for a short time when making purchases with the cryptocurrency. With the constantly changing price of Bitcoin, the usual method of adding more funds to cover the cost of a game or getting a full refund won't work because of the high fees.

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Even if the value of bitcoin were to go up while the user completes the transaction, and Steam has to refund the difference to the user, the transaction fee must be paid by the user again for the refund. 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", the game distributor said.

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.

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Bitstamp, one of the most established exchanges for cryptocurrency, announced that it would trade Bitcoin Cash in November. The company adds that it may re-evaluate if accepting the cryptocurrency makes sense at a later date.

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