Fees, market uncertainty make bitcoin "untenable" for gaming platform Steam

Citing volatile value, Steam drops Bitcoin support

Citing volatile value, Steam drops Bitcoin support

While it is pulling the plug on accepting the cryptocurrency for now, Valve isn't ruling it out completely, with it concluding the blog post saying that it may "re-evaluate whether Bitcoin makes sense for us and for the Steam community at a later date".

Transaction fees are a part of doing business, but typically Visa or MasterCard charge businesses for every purchase made with one of their cards. The company cited "high fees and volatility in the value of Bitcoin" as the reasons behind the decision. For Bitcoin, however, the cryptocurrency market takes a fee when a Bitcoin owner initiates a transaction. This sudden dip and major change in the value of Bitcoin has caused concern for those who wish to use the currency to purchase games on Steam. But it is not a steady ascent.

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Bitcoin has been dominating the news a lot lately, thanks mostly the the extreme fluctuations it's been making in value.

"With the transaction fee being so high right now, it is not feasible to refund or ask the customer to transfer the missing balance (which itself runs the risk of underpayment again, depending on how much the value of Bitcoin changes while the Bitcoin network processes the additional transfer)", Steam wrote. The price of the infamous Bitcoin pizza that was purchased for 10,000 Bitcoin in 2010 is now worth over $123 million. While these discrepancies are normally refunded or require an additional payment from the customer when using a more traditional currency, the high transaction fees associated with Bitcoin make these solutions unfeasible. "The amount it can change has been increasing recently to a point where it can be significantly different", Valve said. "This year, we've seen increasing number of customers get into this state". In both these cases, the user is hit with the Bitcoin network transaction fee again.

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Valve's shirking of bitcoin is another development in a broader debate about the usefulness of the cryptocurrency. This highlights the limitations of the cryptocurrency, and Valve now doesn't accept any alternatives. Valve says that the company may "re-evaluate whether Bitcoin makes sense for us and for the Steam community at a later date [,]" but now Valve is mostly trying to resolve pending issues with customers impacted by Bitcoins' flux.

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