Steam shuns Bitcoin due to its ‘high fees and volatility’
PC GAME WRANGLER Steam is no longer accepting bitcoin as a way to pay for games on its platform.
Valve, which is one of the wealthiest gaming companies around, got a bee in its bonnet about the “high fees and volatility” of the cryptocurrency often used to pay for all manner of dodgy things through the internet.
Making the announcement on its own community forums, Valve’s Steam team noted the move is not to curtail the use of Bitcoin but to ensure games remain sensibly priced for the millions of people who use its platform.
“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, 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),” the Steam team said.
“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.”
Volatility in Bitcoin prices have recently been so shook up that in the process of making an online transaction, the price could change, potentially leading to people paying more or less for games than they first thought. Not exactly ideal for a games platform that has evolved into a stable and reliable behemoth in the PC gaming world.
Bitcoin has historically not been the most stable currency around or indeed used by the most stable people. But Valve noted the situation is particularly bad of late, and thereby makes using the cryptocurrency a pain in the posterior, though it may reconsider its decision later on down the line.
“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,” said the Steam team
So Bitcoin and PC gaming fans will need to make do with more traditional and traceable payments if they want to use Steam for the time being. We feel fine about that but then again we aren’t a bunch of hackers, hitmen or online drug dealers with a hankering for PC gaming. µ