Valve drops Bitcoin as a Steam payment option

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Citing volatile value, Steam drops Bitcoin support

The decision to eliminate the option comes as a result of both the extremely high transaction fees charged by Bitcoin, and recent, also-extremely-high levels of instability in its value.

Transaction fees charged to customers using Bitcoin have surged throughout 2017, Valve says, peaking at $20 last week from a starting of about $0.20 when Steam first started using the currency. If the user then needs to either pay more money, or receive a refund from Steam, they are hit with another costly transaction fee from Bitcoin.

"With the transaction fee being so high right now, it is not feasible to refund or ask the customer to transfer the missing balance (which itself runs the risk of underpayment again, depending on how much the value of Bitcoin changes while the Bitcoin network processes the additional transfer)", Steam wrote. "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", the company stated.

Valve notes that some Bitcoin transactions have had fees as high as $20.

The volatility has caused one company that was accepting bitcoin to drop the currency. One year ago, the price was hovering around the $750 mark.

Bitcoin valuation has become a problem recently as well, as the value fluctuates wildly over very short spans of time.

Steam, which did not return a request for comment by deadline, called the fees "untenable" in its announcement, though the gaming company will reevaluate bitcoin as a payments option in the future. 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.

Earlier this week, the UK Treasury announced tighter regulation of the cryptocurrency. For Bitcoin, however, the cryptocurrency market takes a fee when a Bitcoin owner initiates a transaction.

So, even though this may be the end of Bitcoin support through Steam for now, this may not be a permanent change.

Popular malware updates have highlighted a growing trend in targeting Bitcoin stashes.

For Valve, the answer to its Bitcoin problem is no more Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is a derivative of the blockchain.

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