Thursday, December 7th 2017

Steam Removes Bitcoin Support as Payment Option

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In a blog post over at the Steam community pages, the outfit has announced that it would no longer be accepting Bitcoin as a viable payment option for purchases in the Steam store. In the blog, Steam points towards Bitcoin's high volatility as one of the reasons (the cryptocurrency very frequently sees swings in the order of hundreds of dollars in mere minutes, which makes it more difficult to properly equate Bitcoin's and the purchase's value. Additionally, Steam cites increasingly high transaction fees that sometimes can reach as much as $20, a well-known problem in the cryptocurrency's blockchain that has resisted numerous attempts at being fixed, thus generating multiple forks.

"At this point, it has become untenable to support Bitcoin as a payment option. We may re-evaluate whether Bitcoin makes sense for us and for the Steam community at a later date," the Steam team writes. Users that have been hit with requests for refunds or extra payment depending on the cryptocurrency's fluctuations can rest easy that Steam is aware of the issues and delays, and said that they "(...) will continue working to resolve any pending issues for customers who are impacted by existing underpayments or transaction fees." This event can be read in two ways: that it's a blow for Bitcoin's positioning as virtual gold, as this might start a snowball effect on other companies that accept Bitcoin as a means of payment, thus diluting the usability of the cryptocurrency and potentially affecting its value; or as a vindication for the defenders of Bitcoin as only a high-value, high-stakes cryptocurrency, leaving smaller payments to other more nimble, purpose-designed cryptocoins.
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