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Steam suspends Bitcoin support due to high fees

07 December 2017

When Valve started to accept Bitcoin as a payment method last April, the value of the cryptocurrency was at $450, as pointed out by Ars Technica.

Explaining the motivating factors behind the move, Valve pointed out that Bitcoin transaction fees have shot up to as much as $20 per transaction, "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", Valve said in a statement. The company cited the volatility in the value of the digital currency and high fees as the main reasons why it dropped support for Bitcoin.

But this only applies if you were holding BTC and wanted to see the price drive up, meaning you wouldn't use it in the real-world if the value continues skyrocketing like it has this year - going from $1000 to almost $13,000 in 12 months. At the current $20 mark Valve said that "it is not feasible to refund or ask the customer to transfer the missing balance (which itself runs the risk of underpayment again, depending on how much the value of Bitcoin change while the Bitcoin network processes the additional transfer)". As the statement on Steam notes, Bitcoin's value is only guaranteed for a fleeting amount of time, and if a particular sale isn't completed during that time, the price of an item in Bitcoin can drastically change. Steam did not return a request for comment by deadline, and its announcement did not say how long it has been accepting bitcoin.

At the time of writing, the price of one Bitcoin was just shy of $14,000. But high fees and the roller coaster market value have convinced Valve to give it up as a viable alternative to traditional payment methods. Making this a huge profitability issue especially when the value of Bitcoin itself drops dramatically. Bitcoin has gone from less than $1000 United States dollars to over $13,000 in 2017, and investment interest is high. The value of a bitcoin hit $10,000 for the first time near the end of last month.

For example, transactions can often get bottlenecked, so some users have suggested expanding the network's capacity.

That doesn't mean it's going away forever, but right now it simply isn't viable to continue to support a currency that's too unpredictable for both the vendor and customers.

G2A have added cryptocurrency vouchers to their storefront, offering customers a way to purchase small amounts of Bitcoin and easily add it to an online wallet.

Steam suspends Bitcoin support due to high fees