Less than two years after adopting Bitcoin as a payment option on Steam, Valve has announced that it is withdrawing support for the virtual currency. The decision to eliminate the option comes as a result of both extremely high transaction fees charged by Bitcoin, as well as recent instability levels, also extremely high in value.
"In recent months we have seen an increase in the volatility in the value of Bitcoin and a significant increase in the rates to process transactions in the Bitcoin network, for example, the transaction fees charged to the customer by the Bitcoin network have soared this year, reaching nearly $ 20 a transaction last week (compared to about $ 0.20 when we initially enabled Bitcoin), "explained Valve.
"These fees result in unreasonably high costs for the purchase of games when paying with Bitcoin." The high transaction fees cause even greater problems when the value of Bitcoin itself dramatically decreases.
The Bitcoin valuation has also become a problem recently, as the value fluctuates wildly in very short periods of time. Bitcoin values are only guaranteed for a certain period of time, and if for some reason a transaction is not completed within that window, the amount required to complete the purchase may change. That may sound like an unlikely scenario, but as Coindesk reported today, the value of Bitcoin recently increased by more than $ 1
Normally, when this occurs, Valve reimburses the amount paid in excess or requires additional funds to cover the deficit, but in both cases, the customer has to pay another Bitcoin transaction fee. "With the transaction rate so high at this time, it is not possible to reimburse or ask the customer to transfer the missing balance (which again runs the risk of insufficient payment, depending on how much the Bitcoin value changes while the Bitcoin network processes the transfer additional), "Valve wrote.
All this makes Bitcoin's continuous support "unsustainable" and, therefore, it is left out. Valve said it could be returned at a later date, presumably when (or if) it stabilizes, but at least one economist believes that the stabilization will come in the form of a collapse, which can make it a moot point anyway.