It is no secret that Bitcoin is challenging traditional currencies and is cementing its role as an alternative method of payment. However, some merchants have expressed concern about using Bitcoin as a method of payment. The latest merchant to drop Bitcoin is Valve, who expressed concerns over transaction fees which could affect both Valve and Bitcoin users alike.
As of today, Steam will no longer support Bitcoin as a payment method on our platform due to high fees and volatility in the value of Bitcoin. 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.
Bitcoin’s wildly fluctuating value has been well documented. In a month, Bitcoin’s value has almost doubled, which could alarm merchants even more.
“With the transaction fee being so high right now, it is not feasible to refund or ask the customer to transfer the missing balance,” Valve said. The door is not completely shut on Bitcoin, as Valve has stated that it is still interested in making it a payment option in the future. “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,” Valve also said.