Bitcoin is one of the most popular cryptocurrencies out there right now. It was introduced a few years ago and was basically worthless at the time, but its current value is now in the thousands. For instance, at the time of this writing, 1 Bitcoin is equal to $14373.00 USD. Of course, that’s pretty insane. The increase in the currency’s value has made using it to purchase goods rather expensive. As a result, Valve has decided to crack down on Bitcoin users and no longer supports it on Steam.
Valve recently published a blog post over on the Steam Blog detailing its decision on the matter. Here’s an excerpt:
“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. 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.”
The blog went on to say that due to Bitcoin’s value constantly being in flux, this made transactions quite complicated as the value of the currency could change before the transaction was completely processed. As a result, Valve has pulled the plug on support for Bitcoin for the time being. Valve has stated that it “may” look back into enabling Bitcoin purchases again in the future, but for now, the company is focusing on “resolving any pending issues for customers who are impacted by existing underpayments or transaction fees.”
It remains to be seen if Bitcoin will actually become a truly viable cryptocurrency, or if it will eventually just fade away. As its value continues to shift in such a volatile nature, it will be a problem for many other companies as well.