Bitcoin hit an obstacle on Thursday as the largest online game store in the US. UU And Europe said it will no longer accept the cryptocurrency as a source of payment due to its high transaction fees and its volatile price.
Valve Corp. Steam, the video game platform, said that allowing the payment of bitcoin has become "unsustainable" since high rates have resulted in high costs for buyers, while massive price fluctuations during purchases can generate "significantly different" prices. The fees reached $ 20 per transaction last week, compared to 20 cents when Bitcoin was enabled for the first time, the company said in the statement.
Steam's decision is a setback for the adoption of cryptocurrencies and shows how the original vision of bitcoin is largely the decentralized payment system used may be somewhat remote. While the larger digital currency gained more traction within the financial community this year, as it rose more than 1,300 percent to more than $ 14,000, many have claimed it is a bursting bubble.
The growing popularity of Bitcoin and the amount of data processed on the network has caused transaction times and commissions to jump, making it more difficult to match traditional cash as an established means of buying and selling goods.
The problem with bitcoin payment is difficult to solve because customers must pay the fee again when they receive refunds for their original payment or transfer additional funds to match the new rate, Steam said. The company said in August it had 67 million active players per month, GeekWire reported previously. Steam started accepting Bitcoin last April, according to CoinDesk.
Bitcoin rose to a record on Thursday amid optimism that the introduction of futures is driving the legitimacy of the world's most valuable digital currency. But for some, the promise of cryptocurrency as electronic money simply does not rest on bitcoin: the comment section on Steam ads was filled with suggestions from other tokens, including litecoin, bitcoin cash and dash.
The Bitcoin response to congestion is the Lightning Network. Technology moves some transactions away from the block chain by allowing buyers and sellers to conduct transactions privately and then transmit their activity to the public network. Advocates say that it will reduce traffic in the block chain, resulting in smaller fees and processing times.
Read more: The battle for the "True" Bitcoin is starting: QuickTake Q & A
On Wednesday, the three companies behind the technology – – Lightning Labs, Blockstream Corp. and ACINQ – successfully made multiple payments using bitcoin, the first time its protocol was used in its own blockchain, according to Elizabeth Stark, director of Lightning Labs. She said that this paves the way for testing with outside companies, including game companies and energy providers.
"This was the first payment in the chain of bitcoin blocks in all implementations," Stark said in an email. "What is at stake is pretty much higher when it comes to launching for the bitcoin main network."