Science

Steam Drops Support for Bitcoin

Steam Drops Support for Bitcoin

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. According to Valve, transaction fees have exploded from their original cost of 20 cents to roughly $20, a 100x increase, over the course of the past year. Valve doesn't control these fees, but the company is unpleased with the situation it puts its users in.

The company detailed the decision on Steam's official blog, explaining that recent fluctuations in the value of Bitcoin have made using it on Steam unreasonably hard and costly for consumers.

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. There's even the scenario, Valve explains, that as the user or Steam tries to cover the difference in value, the value of bitcoin then changes again, causing more problems.

This is due to extreme bitcoin price volatility of late, and increasingly unpredictable transaction times.

Steam has not ruled out accepting Bitcoin payments in the future.

Some Bitcoin wallet services can also be slow to broadcast transactions, and take hours, instead of minutes, Walpole said.




It's an interesting decision, and one that raises questions about Bitcoin's value as a currency.

At this point, it has become untenable to support the currency as a payment option. The speculative frenzy has at times created massive lag in the already inherently limited speed of transactions across the Bitcoin network and jacked up processing fees. Bitcoin has gone from less than $1000 Dollars to over $13,000 in 2017, and investment interest is high.

If people still want to purchase games with Bitcoin, they will have to find workarounds to do so such as using legitimate Bitcoin gift card sites which allow people to buy gift cards with their Bitcoins. Fixing this situation with a quick refund or a request for additional payment incurs more of those high transaction fees, Valve says.

Another issue with Bitcoin are the transaction fees. "We may re-evaluate whether Bitcoin makes sense for us and for the Steam community at a later date", Valve said.

Many organizations are still reluctant to trust blockchain technology, however others have found good use cases for it apart from Bitcoin.