Valve is ending support for Steam purchases in Bitcoin

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PC gaming platform Steam no longer accepts Bitcoin as a payment method, Valve announced today.

This news comes on the heels of the 1.0 release of the Lightning Network Specification, a technology that could potentially solve any issues Valve's game distribution platform might have with BTC.

When Steam initially enabled Bitcoin transaction fees were roughly 20 cents, now it can be upwards of $20.

Valve has no control over Bitcoin fees and laments over the 'unreasonably high costs for purchasing games when paying with Bitcoin'.

But today it announced that an end to that, citing transaction fees that are topping out around US$20.

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"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".

When a Steam customer paid with Bitcoin, they would transfer a certain amount for the cost of the game and then another amount to cover the fee. As the statement on Steam notes, Bitcoin's value is only guaranteed for a fleeting amount of time, and if a particular sale isn't completed during that time, the price of an item in Bitcoin can drastically change. Fees have skyrocketed since the beginning of the year.

When Valve started to accept Bitcoin as a payment method last April, the value of the cryptocurrency was at $450, as pointed out by Ars Technica. When a gamer requests a refund, it left a gray area as to whether they should be refunded the USA dollar equivalent of their transaction or if they should just have their Bitcoin returned to them.

As a result, Valve said support for Bitcoin has become "untenable", but it said it might reevaluate the cryptocurrency's fit into its business at a later date. There are some major companies, such as Microsoft and DISH, accepting bitcoin payment, but few others have followed suit. Steam intends to keep working with any customers now experiencing issues from paying with Bitcoin. In early September, Bitcoin was almost worth $5,000 per unit, but the closing of BTC China (due to new rules from government regulators) saw a significant dip in the currency's value.

The normal resolution for this is to either refund the original payment to the user, or ask the user to transfer additional funds to cover the remaining balance. In either case, it's clear that Bitcoin isn't going away anytime soon, but Valve's lack of support for it might have an impact on its value.

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