Valve ending support for Bitcoin payments on Steam

Victor Barreiro Jr.

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Valve ending support for Bitcoin payments on Steam
Volatility in the value of Bitcoin and the increase in fees to process transactions on the Bitcoin network make it problematic for purchasing games on Steam

MANILA, Philippines – Valve Corporation said on Wednesday, December 6, it was discontinuing support for the Bitcoin cryptocurrency as a payment option on the Steam digital gaming service.

The company explained on its Steam blog that volatility in the value of Bitcoin and the increase in fees to process transactions on the Bitcoin network caused it to become problematic for purchasing games on Steam.

When Steam first implemented Bitcoin for buying games, transaction fees charged to the customer by the Bitcoin network were roughly at $0.20, but are now around $20 a transaction.

“Unfortunately, Valve has no control over the amount of the fee,” it said, adding the fees “result in unreasonably high costs for purchasing games when paying with Bitcoin.” 

The payment problem

Valve also explained the process that makes the payment for games using Bitcoin even more problematic.

Explained Valve, “When checking out on Steam, a customer will transfer x amount of Bitcoin for the cost of the game, plus y amount of Bitcoin to cover the transaction fee charged by the Bitcoin network. 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.”

It added the amount can change or increase “to a point where it can be significantly different,” and attempting to resolve the issue by asking the buyer to add more funds to the purchase can force them to pay a second transaction fee, increasing the amount they have to pay even further. 

Valve said it will “reevaluate whether Bitcoin makes sense for us and for the Steam community at a later date.” –

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Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.