Washington-base game developer and distribution company Valve will cease to accept Bitcoin as a valid payment method on Steam due to high transaction fees but. The outfit may re-evaluate in the future.
In a blog post today, Valve said “Steam will no longer support Bitcoin as a payment method on our platform due to high fees and volatility in the value of Bitcoin.”
When the firm started accepting Bitcoin sometime ago the network transaction fees was roughly $0.20, in recent days this has reached around $20 making the purchase of games extremely expensive.
Back in April 2016 Valve partnered with BitPay to utilise their payment gateway enabling customers to pay in Bitcoin. They hoped it would provide a fast, cheap and alternative solution for emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil with no risk of chargeback fraud that comes with card payments. Fast forward today it has become the complete opposite in terms of the currency becoming an overly expensive method of payment.
Valve are stating they have no control over transaction fees due to BitPay automatically presetting them when generating invoices, which are automatically adjusted depending on network congestion.
“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,” the company said. “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 fluctuate considerably. This value has been increasing significantly.”
“At this point, it has become untenable to support Bitcoin as a payment option,” Valve said. “We may re-evaluate whether Bitcoin makes sense for us and for the Steam community at a later date.”
Valve added support for Steam purchases with bitcoin in 2016 as part of a partnership with company Bitpay.
In the last few months alone Blockchain technology has rapidly advanced with newer technologies, Valve may look into Ethereum which would offer a faster checkout process.