Fees, market uncertainty make bitcoin "untenable" for gaming platform Steam

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Steam, a popular platform for buying video games, announced on Wednesday that it will no longer be accepting payment in the form of bitcoin because of the volatility of its worth and transaction fees.

Valve said the recent dips and spikes in Bitcoin were signs that the "degree of volatility has become extreme".

Naturally, the cryptocurrency's valuation is important, as this can cause problems with regards to purchasing items from the storefront. The company cited "high fees and volatility in the value of Bitcoin" as the reasons behind the decision.

However, Steam said making up the balance for all these Bitcoin transaction is no longer "feasible" when the digital currency's value has been skyrocketing. On Jan. 1 this year, bitcoin was priced at just under $1,000.

Under the European Union-wide plan, online platforms where Bitcoin is traded will be required to carry out due diligence on customers and report suspicious transactions, with the move created to end the anonymity of the cryptocurrency.

The problem, Valve says, comes when a customer transfers Bitcoin during a purchase to cover the cost of the game and Bitcoin's transaction fee.

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"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", Valve said. For example, when Steam first partnered with the company, transaction fees via Bitcoin were at roughly $0.20 whereas now the transaction fee stands at nearly $20 per payment.

"Unfortunately, Valve has no control over the amount of the fee", wrote Chinn. "This year, we've seen increasing number of customers get into this slate".

Valve is not necessarily done with cryptocurrency even though it has removed Bitcoin as a payment option.

There's no good customer service response to this problem, Valve added, because if there's an imbalance in payments the same problem can repeat itself, and users can be hit with additional transaction fees.

All of that makes the continued support of Bitcoin "untenable", and thus it is out.

"We may re-evaluate whether Bitcoin makes sense for us and for the Steam community at a later date", they said. Besides, very few people user Bitcoin for everyday transactions because of the very slow processing speeds and high fees involved per transaction. For now, it is focused on resolving pending issues for clients affected by existing underpayments or high transaction fees.

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