Bitcoin may be trading at all-time highs, but not everybody is celebrating. Crypto-loving gamers everywhere have their headsets in a twist after Valve, the parent company of popular online gaming platform Steam, announced today that they will no longer be accepting Bitcoin payments.
Citing the digital currency’s extreme price fluctuations in recent months, as well as increased transaction fees, Valve stated that it has become “untenable” to continue supporting Bitcoin as a payment option.
The announcement, made via a blog post on Steam’s website, explains:
In the past few months we’ve seen an increase in the volatility in the value of Bitcoin and a significant increase in the fees to process transactions on the Bitcoin network. 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).
Bitcoin’s wild volatility may be attractive to thrill-seeking investors, but it can be problematic for customers trying to purchase games on the Steam platform. Consider the following scenario:
Mike wants to purchase Elder Scrolls® Online: Gold Edition and pay for it with Bitcoin. The game costs $29.99 and, at the time of purchase, the value of Bitcoin is $13,528. That means that Mike needs to transfer approximately 0.0022 BTC plus a transaction fee of 0.00032 BTC ($4.33) – a total of 0.00252 BTC – to pay for the game.
Once he makes his payment, he needs to wait for the payment to go through. Transaction times can vary dramatically based on whether or not there is a backlog of transactions on the blockchain and how big that backlog is, but for our purposes let’s say it takes 20 minutes for the transaction to go through…