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Your Bitcoin is no good here-Steam stops accepting cryptocurrency

07 December 2017

The rollercoaster rising value of Bitcoin has forced online gaming distributor Steam to drop the cryptocurrency as a payment method.

Due to the fanfare surrounding digital currencies previous year, Steam began accepting Bitcoin as an official method of payment for its games and services.

The bitcoin network is charging close to $20 per transaction, Steam claims in its announcement, adding that's far more than the $0.20 it was charged when it initially enabled bitcoin. Valve doesn't control these fees, but the company is unpleased with the situation it puts its users in.

"These fees result in unreasonably high costs for purchasing games when paying with Bitcoin".

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The post explained that, due to the recent increase in volatility of the value of Bitcoins over the past few months, which includes very steep fees simply for processing transactions via Bitcoin, Steam feels that the currency is no longer suitable.

"Historically, the value of Bitcoin has been volatile, but the degree of volatility has become extreme in the last few months, losing as much as 25 percent in value over a period of days", wrote Chinn.

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. Bitcoin values are only guaranteed for a certain window of time, and if for some reason a transaction isn't completed within that window, the amount required to complete the purchase can change. For Bitcoin, however, the cryptocurrency market takes a fee when a Bitcoin owner initiates a transaction.

The volatility has caused one company that was accepting bitcoin to drop the currency.

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And Bitcoin's value has gone through some massive swings recently.

Steam tried to solve the problem by offering refunds to customers who overpaid. On Jan. 1 this year, bitcoin was priced at just under $1,000. Fixing this situation with a quick refund or a request for additional payment incurs more of those high transaction fees, Valve says. Today, Bitcoin is surging past $12,000 per coin, so it may be a surprise for users to hear that Steam is removing support for the digital money.

For example, transactions can often get bottlenecked, so some users have suggested expanding the network's capacity.

"We may re-evaluate whether Bitcoin makes sense for us and for the Steam community at a later date", they said.

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Your Bitcoin is no good here-Steam stops accepting cryptocurrency