Due to the constantly rising and falling of value and ever-increasing transaction fees, users will no longer be able to purchase games or add funds to their Steam wallets using the popular cryptocurrency. In a blog post, Valve explained that bitcoin transaction fees have gone up to almost $20 per transaction last week, "compared to roughly $0.20 when we initially enabled Bitcoin".
"These fees result in unreasonably high costs for purchasing games when paying with Bitcoin", Valve said in a statement. "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", the company stated.
If a transaction times out, Steam has previously refunded the user, or asked for further bitcoin to cover the transaction - however both cases result in additional fees charged by the network.
It doesn't seem to matter that Bitcoin is priced at almost $13,000 and it has more hype and interest in cryptocurrency than any previous point in human history, but Valve has just stopped accepting Bitcoin in Steam. Yay. Being able to load "Steam Wallets" with bitcoin would be beneficial for people in China, Brazil, and India who may lack "traditional payment options like credit cards", BitPay said at the time.
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Valve's shirking of bitcoin is another development in a broader debate about the usefulness of the cryptocurrency. In an effort to prevent customers from wasting money on fees and to protect itself from volatility, Valve has simply chose to remove Bitcoin as an option during checkout. The amount it can change has been increasing recently to a point where it can be significantly different. The prices of Bitcoin have been exploding as of late with one bitcoin equal to 13,416 Dollars as of this writing. One year ago, the price was hovering around the $750 mark.
When Steam attempts to resolve these issues, the payment is refunded or additional funds are requested to help cover the balance, and that leads to additional fees for the platform. However, the post did end by stating that Steam may re-evaluate Bitcoin in the future and decide then whether or not it is suitable for the company and its community.
For example, transactions can often get bottlenecked, so some users have suggested expanding the network's capacity.