When Valve started to accept Bitcoin as a payment method last April, the value of the cryptocurrency was at $450, as pointed out by Ars Technica. However, in a new blog post today, the company announced that it would no longer accept the cryptocurrency. Unfortunately, Valve has no control over the amount of the fee.
The company detailed the decision on Steam's official blog, explaining that recent fluctuations in the value of Bitcoin have made using it on Steam unreasonably hard and costly for consumers. 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.
But this only applies if you were holding BTC and wanted to see the price drive up, meaning you wouldn't use it in the real-world if the value continues skyrocketing like it has this year - going from $1000 to almost $13,000 in 12 months.
But in the event of especially big price changes Steam would either refund the difference (if the price of bitcoin increased), or ask the customer to make a top up payment (if the price of bitcoin decreased). The value of Bitcoin is only guaranteed for a certain period of time so if the transaction doesn't complete within that window of time, then the amount of Bitcoin needed to cover the transaction can change.
Bitcoin has risen in value for years, but the increase in the past several months has been especially explosive.
Steam made the announcement as the value of a single bitcoin is surging to $14,000.
Under the European Union-wide plan, online platforms where Bitcoin is traded will be required to carry out due diligence on customers and report suspicious transactions, with the move created to end the anonymity of the cryptocurrency. Valve wrote that payments rose to as high as $20 per transaction in the last week.
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.
Bitcoin continues to soar in price, but one company isn't impressed with its recent success. Bitcoin has gone from less than $1000 United States dollars to over $13,000 in 2017, and investment interest is high. But transactions can often take longer than the Bitcoin Network guarantees the value of the currency.
In the case of rapidly changing value, offering customers refunds posed a problem for Valve.
Valve's shirking of bitcoin is another development in a broader debate about the usefulness of the cryptocurrency.