The fact that Steam is accepting Bitcoin as a payment method is no secret but it surely wasn’t widely known until now. Even though most Steam users didn’t actually have the opportunity to use this feature, Valve announced today that Steam Bitcoin Support will stop due to the currency’s constant value increase resulting to increase in transaction fees.
The company explained thoroughly why they are removing Steam Bitcoin Support and how the Bitcoin market is an unstable one, causing problems with transactions that don’t get through instantly. The blog reads:
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).
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.
This statement is making complete sense since a game that you want to buy now with Bitcoin may cost $20-30 more when the transaction is actually completed.
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.
Valve will continue working to resolve any pending issues for customers who are impacted by existing underpayments or transaction fees and will look into adding Bitcoin as a payment method again in the future, probably when the market is finally stable.