As of today, Steam will no longer support Bitcoin as a payment option.
Steam is no longer accepting Bitcoin as a payment method, saying it's "untenable" to support the soaring cryptocurrency. But high fees and the roller coaster market value have convinced Valve to give it up as a viable alternative to traditional payment methods. You can read the full statement via Valve's official post on Steam. "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.
Under the European Union-wide plan, online platforms where Bitcoin is traded will be required to carry out due diligence on customers and report suspicious transactions, with the move created to end the anonymity of the cryptocurrency.
Valve notes that some Bitcoin transactions have had fees as high as $20. If the user then needs to either pay more money, or receive a refund from Steam, they are hit with another costly transaction fee from Bitcoin.
Valve, the company that owns Steam, noted the value for Bitcoin only stays stable for a certain period of time and can change before a transaction has been completed.
Bitcoin has also proved popular with currency traders, going on a massive bull run in 2017. Over the last week alone, the price has gone from $9,500 for a single Bitcoin to over $13,000.
"Historically, the value of Bitcoin has been volatile, but the degree of volatility has become extreme in the last few months, losing as much as 25 percent in value over a period of days", Valve wrote. In an effort to prevent customers from wasting money on fees and to protect itself from volatility, Valve has simply made a decision 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 game distributor said. 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.
For instance, Steam said that bitcoin transaction fees have "skyrocketed this year". "This year, we've seen increasing number of customers get into this state".
In the case of rapidly changing value, offering customers refunds posed a problem for Valve. But it says that it's not done with the digital coin for good. Valve said it may be brought back at some later date, presumably when (or if) it stabilizes, but at least one economist believes that stabilization will come in the form of a crash, which may make it a moot point anyway.