Steam Suspends Support For Bitcoin Payments

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Steam Suspends Support For Bitcoin Payments

Valve runs Steam, which is the the biggest PC-gaming distribution platform outside of China, and it started taking Bitcoin as a payment in April 2016 after talking about the possibility for years.

Today Valve announced it will no longer be accepting Bitcoin as currency on the Steam store.

"When checking out on Steam, a customer will transfer x amount of Bitcoin for the cost of the game, plus y amount of Bitcoin to cover the transaction fee charged by the Bitcoin network".

"Unfortunately, Valve has no control over the amount of the fee", explained Valve.

Regarding the volatility (Bitcoin stands at around $13,000 Dollars today but it fluctuates significantly and often), Valve said this is problematic in part because Bitcoin's value is only guaranteed for a set period of time.

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.

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The problem, Valve says, comes when a customer transfers Bitcoin during a purchase to cover the cost of the game and Bitcoin's transaction fee.

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. When a gamer requests a refund, it left a gray area as to whether they should be refunded the USA dollar equivalent of their transaction or if they should just have their Bitcoin returned to them. Steam intends to keep working with any customers now experiencing issues from paying with Bitcoin. But transactions can often take longer than the Bitcoin Network guarantees the value of the currency.

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. Even though volatility remains problematic, removing transaction fees could make purchases in cryptocurrency much more palatable for consumers.

Valve's shirking of bitcoin is another development in a broader debate about the usefulness of the cryptocurrency. This created a poor user experience and also had the side effect of requiring the buyer to pay a second Bitcoin network fee when sending additional currency.

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.

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