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

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Those fees then have to be shouldered by gamers making purchases on Steam, and the total cost to consumers could be even higher if the value of bitcoin dips in the meantime. Due to the constantly rising and falling of value and ever-increasing transaction fees, users will no longer be able to purchase games or add funds to their Steam wallets using the popular cryptocurrency.

Steam has decided that it is no longer feasible to support Bitcoin as a method of payment and it looks like from now on you'll need to use a different payment service to buy your Steam games.

Noting that while the cryptocurrency has a history of volatility, Valve goes on to state that "the degree of volatility has become extreme in the last few months, losing as much as 25% in value over a period of days". Valve announced the news in a post to the Steam Blog today. Ideally, the value of Bitcoin would remain stagnant from the transaction's start to its finish, but recent jumps in the currency's volatility mean that the Bitcoin value of a purchase can rapidly change before some transactions are able to finish. "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)", Valve explained.

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Steam's resolutions to this, refunding the payment or asking for a transfer of additional funds, incurs network transaction fee which comes in addition to the base transaction fee. This created a poor user experience and also had the side effect of requiring the buyer to pay a second Bitcoin network fee when sending additional currency. "This year, we've seen increasing number of customers get into this slate".

Since the value of Bitcoin is "only guaranteed for a certain period of time", if a transaction is not completed within that time frame, the value of the agreed upon BTC can fluctuate greatly, leaving either customers or Valve to cover the difference. 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.

We will continue working to resolve any pending issues for customers who are impacted by existing underpayments or transaction fees.