Steam drops Bitcoin support

Steam drops Bitcoin support

This news comes on the heels of the 1.0 release of the Lightning Network Specification, a technology that could potentially solve any issues Valve's game distribution platform might have with BTC. Such high transaction fees could cause a game to cost far more than it's original value, and those trying to cover the transaction fees with more Bitcoins may find they don't have enough if the value of the cryptocurrency has decreased before the transaction went through. Regarding the fees, Valve pointed out that the transaction fee charged to the customer using Bitcoin rose from 20 cents when Valve started accepting it to nearly $20 today. Valve has no way to control these fees, which can raise the costs of games to unreasonably high amounts that have to be shouldered by customers. The speculative frenzy has at times created massive lag in the already inherently limited speed of transactions across the Bitcoin network and jacked up processing fees.

"Historically, the value of Bitcoin has been volatile", Valve explained in note posted earlier today, "but the degree of volatility has become extreme in the last few months, losing as much as 25% in value over a period of days". The price of the infamous Bitcoin pizza that was purchased for 10,000 Bitcoin in 2010 is now worth over $123 million. Bitcoin values are only guaranteed for a certain window of time, and if for some reason a transaction isn't completed within that window, the amount required to complete the purchase can change. Fees have skyrocketed since the beginning of the year.

Some Bitcoin wallet services can also be slow to broadcast transactions, and take hours, instead of minutes, Walpole said. In 2016, Valve made a decision to partner with Bitpay which allowed users to store Bitcoins in their steam wallets for game purchases. The value of a bitcoin hit $10,000 for the first time near the end of last month.

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The way it worked in this situation was that Valve would refund the payment or charge more to cover the remaining balance.

All of that makes the continued support of Bitcoin "untenable", and thus it is out.

While it is pulling the plug on accepting the cryptocurrency for now, Valve isn't ruling it out completely, with it concluding the blog post saying that it may "re-evaluate whether Bitcoin makes sense for us and for the Steam community at a later date". Besides, very few people user Bitcoin for everyday transactions because of the very slow processing speeds and high fees involved per transaction.

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