Valve announced that they would no longer allow Bitcoin to used for purchasing content on Steam. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that recently spiked in value, with one Bitcoin being valued at about $10,000.
Cryptocurrencies have been gaining popularity as of late, with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple and others steadily growing in value. Some online and in-store businesses accept the currencies in the same way they accept cash. In 2016, Valve decided to partner with Bitpay which allowed users to store Bitcoins in their steam wallets for game purchases. Unfortunately, those who used Bitcoin to buy their games will now have to use another option as Valve disabled the use of cryptocurrenices for purchase just a year later.
In a blog post the company stated “as of today, Steam will no longer support Bitcoin as a payment method on our platform due to high fees and volatility in the value of Bitcoin;” Bitcoin has lost “as much as 25% in value over a period of days” showing how volatile the cryptocurrency can be in such a short amount of time. Valve’s decision came soon after Bitcoin’s value surge and rising transaction fees that occurred around the end of November.
Cryptocurrency values have been changing so rapidly that using them in place of cash or credit payments is risky. Valve stated “transaction fees that are charged to the customer by the Bitcoin network have skyrocketed this year, topping out at close to $20 a transaction last week (compared to roughly $0.20 when we initially enabled Bitcoin).” 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.
If people still want to purchase games with Bitcoin, they will have to find workarounds to do so such as using legitimate Bitcoin gift card sites which allow people to buy gift cards with their Bitcoins. The gift cards have cash value and can be used similarly to debit cards.
Valve has not announced if they will ever allow the use of cryptocurrencies on Steam again, but for now users should plan alternative options for payment if they were only using Bitcoin.