Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Science | By Hubert Green

Steam drops Bitcoin as $13k BTC milestone passed

Steam drops Bitcoin as $13k BTC milestone passed

Because Valve has no control over the transaction fees, there are cases when the trasaction fees are sometimes higher than the value of the purchase and this makes the transaction unreasonably costly.

With December being one of the busiest times for the gaming industry, Steams move is an interesting one, but one that raises mild concern for PC gamers on the platform. 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. In the meantime, it's still working with customers who were affected by the recent rise in Bitcoin value whether it's with existing payments or transaction fees. However, Valve's decision is not only understandable, but something that's for the good of both Steam and its clients.

"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 constant change in value can also mean that, simply in the time it takes to purchase a game, a customer may need to pay even more by the time they've reached the checkout.

Even if the value of bitcoin were to go up while the user completes the transaction, and Steam has to refund the difference to the user, the transaction fee must be paid by the user again for the refund.

It doesn't seem to matter that Bitcoin is priced at almost $13,000 and it has more hype and interest in cryptocurrency than any previous point in human history, but Valve has just stopped accepting Bitcoin in Steam. Yay.

Steam's resolutions to this, refunding the payment or asking for a transfer of additional funds, incurs network transaction fee which comes in addition to the base transaction fee.

"The amount it can change has been increasing recently to a point where it can be significantly different", the game distributor said. Besides, very few people user Bitcoin for everyday transactions because of the very slow processing speeds and high fees involved per transaction. "This year, we've seen increasing number of customers get into this state".

Valve might be backing out of Bitcoin support for now, but it said that it might revisit the issue and its impact on the company and the community in the future.

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