Steam ends support for bitcoin

Valve is ending support for Steam purchases made with bitcoin, the company said today, citing “high fees and volatility” in the value of the cryptocurrency.

“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,” Valve said in a post on Steam. “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). Unfortunately, Valve has no control over the amount of the fee. These fees result in unreasonably high costs for purchasing games when paying with Bitcoin. The high transaction fees cause even greater problems when the value of Bitcoin itself drops dramatically.”

Valve said that the degree of volatility in bitcoin value “has become extreme in the last few months, losing as much as 25% in value over a period of days.” The open source cryptocurrency reached new highs this week, reaching a value of $12,000 per bitcoin today, jumping $1,000 in just 24 hours.

Valve explained why surges like that can have an impact on purchases through Steam.

“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 company said. “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. The amount it can change has been increasing recently to a point where it can be significantly different.”

Valve said that those price discrepancies will normally result in a refund or an additional payment from the customer when more traditional, more stable currencies are involved. But in the case of bitcoin, high transaction fees can make those resolutions costly.

“At this point, it has become untenable to support Bitcoin as a payment option,” Valve said. “We may re-evaluate whether Bitcoin makes sense for us and for the Steam community at a later date.”

Valve added support for Steam purchases with bitcoin in 2016 as part of a partnership with company Bitpay.

Comments

"In the past few months we’ve seen an increase in the volatility in the value of Bitcoin"

Just the past few months? Hasn’t it always been extremely volatile?

Went from changing a few hundred of dollars up or down in a day to a few thousand dollars.

$20 per transaction! Why would you ever use bitcoins to buy a game at that rate. If the transaction fee is more that 3% you are better of just using a credit card.

Ha! My sentiments exactly. I never understood the interest in Bitcoin currency. From what I’ve read about how it works, there’s minimal difference between using Bitcoin and playing the stock market. I am not a fan of uncertainty and I don’t need to spend my time wondering whether or not the value of my digital dollar is going to drop.

Sounds rather silly to me.

The only thing really keeping bitcoin alive is that it’s not easy to trace so the black markets love it.

Supporting bitcoin and most cryptocurrency is, unfortunately, also supporting the drug and sex trade in places like Russia.

It’s only supporting those practices if using The US dollar is somehow also supporting those.

Both are simply currencies, and they can be used for either good or bad.

Apples and oranges. There is a difference in the intent and design of the currencies. USD is explicitly traceable whereas BitCoin, by design, is not. Which is why it’s preferred for illegal activity.

So, yeah, it’s a flimsy "If you support x, inadvertently support y" argument, but it holds weight nonetheless. And certainly your counter example does not.

I don’t think you’ve thought this through. The intent of Bitcoin was to give people back ownership/control of there money and it IS traceable. And cryptocurrencies are not the preferred currency for illegal activity.. it doesn’t even come remotely close to the use of fiat currency illegal activities.

"The intent of Bitcoin was to give people back ownership/control of there money"

Please explain how so. Miners can choose which transactions to include in a block. So naturally transactions with the highest fees will be selected first. How is that control and ownership for the people?

Oh, so the silk road didn’t make it their currency?

And when 63million were stolen earlier this week (and 3 years ago when everyone trusted a website that originally managed magic the gathering cards), the gov’t is going to be able to find it, right? Using the serial numbers marked on each bitcoin? Lol.

Traceable means just that. Bitcoin, by design, is not actually traceable.

The public can see that someone is sending
an amount to someone else, but without information linking the transaction to anyone.

https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

Places like Russia? Hell, it supports them right here in the good old U S of A.

And far less importantly, it means that buying a second GTX1070 is just not in the cards for me because that shit is still way more expensive than it should be. Thanks, crypto-miners.

GPUs are really only used to mine etherium, and I hear that’s going away soon, somehow.

But yeah, fuck currencies that use GPUs.

$20 per transaction! Why would you ever use bitcoins to buy a game at that rate.

Many sketchy reasons. People in the drug trade businesses also like playing games.

Whelp i might as well stop using paper money then…

GP wasn’t suggesting that Bitcoin should be avoided for that reason, they were just offering a reason for why someone would be OK with the ridiculous transaction fees. If the money you make at "work" comes in the form of Bitcoin, that’s what you’ll want to use to buy things. A drug dealer could make large Bitcoin → cash exchanges and then use USD (or whatever) to purchase their games, but then that money is no longer anonymous.

GP wasn’t suggesting that Bitcoin should be avoided for that reason, they were just offering a reason for why someone would be OK with the ridiculous transaction fees.

Quote for emphasis.

probably because there is nothing else they can do with the bitcoin.

Maybe because I have no other way to buy games off Steam, and issuing a Credit Card, where I reside, is a painful process both for money and time.

The problem is not that fees are rising, it’s because they are stagnant instead of being proportional with Bitcoin’s price. A 0.001BTC fees costs $10 as Bitcoin is worth $10,000. The same amount will cost $100 if Bitcoin price reaches $100,000. Hopefully things get better after the full implementation of Lightning Network.

TIL steam had bitcoin support

I love spending the amount of energy used to power nine homes in the U.S. for one day every time I buy a game.

My guess is that they just want to get out of bitcoin while the price is up. That’s what I would recommend if I was over there.

Bitcoin shouldn’t really be used as a currency. If anything its useful as a value storage option like gold. It’s just too slow and expensive to be used for payments.

If anything its useful as a value storage option like gold

Except that it’s so volatile and its future is so uncertain that I wouldn’t say it qualifies as a valid long term storage option.

Funny how fast Valve acts when it starts effecting their bottom line.

But there are still hate groups operating openly on steam and not one finger lifted by Valve.

Doesn’t really affect their bottom line. It’s just not consumer friendly. AKA a customer paying $20 conversion fee.

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