Steam has announced that it will no longer be supporting Bitcoin as a payment method in an official blog post today.
The online game distributor stated concerns about the volatile nature of Bitcoin’s value as well as the increase in fees it requires to process transactions made with the cryptocurrency. Steam cites “skyrocketing” transaction fees that have closed in on $20 a purchase, in comparison to the $0.20 when the service was offered originally.
Valve is opting not to open itself up to these high transaction fees and associated costs with customers who choose to pay with Bitcoin, which has currently valued at $12,000 apiece. As the statement on Steam notes, Bitcoin’s value is only guaranteed for a fleeting amount of time, and if a particular sale isn’t completed during that time, the price of an item in Bitcoin can drastically change. The nature of the beast means that it changes pretty often right now as well, leaving Steam essentially up a creek without a paddle.
When Steam attempts to resolve these issues, the payment is refunded or additional funds are requested to help cover the balance, and that leads to additional fees for the platform. For these reasons and the overall volatility of the currency, it’s “untenable” to support Bitcoin at the moment, the blog said.
That doesn’t mean it’s going away forever, but right now it simply isn’t viable to continue to support a currency that’s too unpredictable for both the vendor and customers. Steam says it’s possible it could be re-evaluated in the future, so if you’re sitting on a lot of Bitcoin, that’s probably good news.