The rise and rise of Bitcoin might make some people richer, but it’s been a headache for companies that accept it.
Steam, the gaming digital distribution service owned by Valve, will no longer take Bitcoin as a form of payment.
In a blog post on Wednesday, Valve explained the decision was made due to the “high fees and volatility” in the value of the cryptocurrency in recent months.
According to the company, transaction fees that were 20 cents when they first enabled the cryptocurrency in April 2016 have skyrocketed to as much as $20.
Bitcoin’s network is struggling to keep up with the number of transactions that are being processed, pushing up transaction fees as miners prioritize transactions which pay a higher fee.
Then there’s of course the extremely unpredictable value of Bitcoin itself. In case you haven’t noticed, it broke the $13,000 barrier on Wednesday, but has seen dramatic drops in value, as we saw last week.
Steam customers who use Bitcoin pay for the cost of the game, as well as the transaction fee charged by the network — but the processing time for the cryptocurrency has created a problem.
“At this point, it has become untenable to support Bitcoin as a payment option.”
“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,” the blog post reads.
It means the company has to either refund the original payment to the customer, or ask for more funds to cover the outstanding balance.
Both situations mean the customer is again hit by the Bitcoin transaction fee, and the company said it’s seen an increase in users falling into that predicament — resulting in underpayment.
“At this point, it has become untenable to support Bitcoin as a payment option. We may re-evaluate whether Bitcoin makes sense for us and for the Steam community at a later date,” the post adds.