Steam Abandons Bitcoin Payments

Steam Abandons Bitcoin Payments
The volatile value of the currency and high transaction charges have made using Bitcoin impractical.

(CCM) — Steam, the online game service, has abandoned Bitcoin as a means of payment for its service because the value of the virtual currency is changing too rapidly, and the cost of carrying out Bitcoin transactions has "skyrocketed" this year, the company has announced.

Steam started accepting payments in Bitcoin as recently as Apr. 2017, when the value of one Bitcoin was about $450. But today the virtual currency broke the $15,000 barrier for the first time, a rise of more than 300% in just eight months.

The volatility of Bitcoin is a problem because its value can change significantly in the time taken for a Steam transaction to be completed. When this happens customers have to be asked for more Bitcoins, or, more commonly, they are entitled to a refund as the value had increased so much. In either case the customer has to pay exchange fees which can now be as high as $20, the company said. When Steam started accepting Bitcoin the exchange fee was about 20 cents.

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

Image: © Julia Tsokur -