Valve has announced that it’s digital distribution platform known as Steam will no longer be accepting bitcoins as a form of payment due to the currency’s volatility and increasingly unacceptable processing fees. This news comes two years after Valve began accepting Bitcoin as a payment option on Steam. The decision to eliminate Bitcoin as a payment option was due to a number of reasons according to a Steam community announcement. It appears that high transaction fees and Bitcoins widely varying value is to blame. The book keeping in the accounting department must also be a nightmare as Steam would have to deal with capital gains/losses for each transaction.
“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. For example, 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). 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. The high transaction fees cause even greater problems when the value of Bitcoin itself drops dramatically.” said Valve.
The Steam Community is asking for Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum and other alt currencies to be used. Steam left the door open so to speak to reverse this decision to remove bitcoin as a payment option in the future, if the currency finds more stability. It doesn’t look like that is going to happen anytime soon as Bitcoin surged today and broke $14,000 for a short period of time. With $2,000 price swings happening in less than 24 hours, the comments made by Valve have some validity.