Games-mart Steam halts Bitcoin payments

Citing volatile value, Steam drops Bitcoin support

Steam, the largest game distribution platform online, announced today that they'd be dropping support for the cryptocurrency bitcoin on their blog, in a an unprecedented heel turn, ending a years-long record of support and early adoption.

Citing volatility and an increase in fees, Bitcoin support has been removed as of the 7th of December.

The post explained that, due to the recent increase in volatility of the value of Bitcoins over the past few months, which includes very steep fees simply for processing transactions via Bitcoin, Steam feels that the currency is no longer suitable. The group has no control over the amount of the fee being charged, with has in many instances resulted in much higher costs for purchasing games when paying with Bitcoin.

When the value of Bitcoin drops, these high fees become even more of a problem.

Steam - the largest web games store in the USA and Europe - laid down the law on Thursday, stipulating that it would no longer accept the cryptocurrency for any purchases across its regions. With Bitcoin values changing so rapidly, the amount of Bitcoin needed to cover a purchase can change significantly between the time a purchase is initiated and when it's completed.

The issue is that the Bitcoin price of a game can experience significant changes in merely a matter of minutes. Whether Steam chooses to accept an alternative cryptocurrency with lower transaction fees in the future remains to be seen. Either way, Mike has to pay a second transaction fee and if Steam opts to refund the purchase price, then they have to pay a transaction fee as well.

When Steam initially began accepting payments in Bitcoin, those fees were around $0.20 Dollars.

Consequently, Steam has determined Bitcoin to be untenable as a method of payment on its platform. The decision was announced the same day Bitcoin rose 16 percent to cross the $13,000-per-coin trading milestone for the first time.

Steam implemented bitcoin payments in April, and many pundits saw this as a big opportunity for the company.

To keep the network ticking, voluntary bitcoin "miners" have to work out complex mathematical solutions to add a transaction to the distributed ledger. Bundle that with slower transaction times and the risk of having a purchase fall through only as the price is increasing, and it becomes a problem for Steam's current infrastructure.

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