Steam no longer accepting Bitcoin

Storefront says high fees and volatile price fluctuations make supporting the cryptocurrency "untenable"

By Brendan Sinclair.Published Wednesday 6th December 2017, 8:46pm GMT

Your cryptocurrency is no good here. Valve today announced that it will no longer accept Bitcoin as payment for items on the Steam storefront.

As explained in a post on the Steam Blog, the company has decided to halt support for Bitcoin transactions due to recent hikes in transaction processing fees and increased volatility in the value of the cryptocurrency. According to Steam, user fees for Bitcoin transactions have surged from $0.20 to nearly $20 in less than two years. That not only makes games more expensive for Bitcoin users, but also causes problems whenever the value of Bitcoin falls rapidly.

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"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," Valve explained. "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."

When this happens, Steam either refunds the user their payment or asks them to transfer more Bitcoin to cover the additional cost. Either way, the user is subjected to another transaction fee. Steam has said that situation has become increasingly common this year.

"With the transaction fee being so high right now, it is not feasible to refund or ask the customer to transfer the missing balance (which itself runs the risk of underpayment again, depending on how much the value of Bitcoin changes while the Bitcoin network processes the additional transfer)," the company said. "At this point, it has become untenable to support Bitcoin as a payment option. We may re-evaluate whether Bitcoin makes sense for us and for the Steam community at a later date."

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Bitcoin has been accepted on Steam since April of 2016 by way of integration with Bitcoin commerce company Bitpay. Valve was not quite an early adopter of the cryptocurrency as companies like Microsoft, Big Fish, and Green Man Gaming have been accepting Bitcoin since 2014.

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