As the cryptocurrency has recently urged to a value of $12,500 mark, a 25% growth from what it was worth in November, Valve has stated "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, 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. With Valve unable to control these blockchain-linked costs (passed on from third-party Bitpay), the company anxious that it was leading to "unreasonably high costs for purchasing games when paying with Bitcoin" (though apparently these are costs Bitcoin users as a whole have been willing to shoulder of late). Basically, if the value of bitcoin changes while a customer is finalizing an order, the order will either need to be refunded or Valve must ask the customer to transfer more bitcoin to cover the purchase. Since it's changing so quickly on a regular basis, Valve has been finding that Bitcoin's value from when a transaction was started and a transaction completes can be "significantly different".
When it does happen, as Valve says has been becoming more common, Valve issues a refund for the amount. 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. We may re-evaluate whether Bitcoin makes sense for us and for the Steam community at a later date. In an effort to prevent customers from wasting money on fees and to protect itself from volatility, Valve has simply made a decision to remove Bitcoin as an option during checkout.
That's one of the reasons why Valve is no longer accepting Bitcoin as a payment method.
Still, the cryptocurrency's lack of government backing and regulation has led to volatility.
So, even though this may be the end of Bitcoin support through Steam for now, this may not be a permanent change. Those caught making cryptocurrency payments face faces of 150 million to 200 million Vietnamese dong, or roughly $6,000 to $9,000.
For Valve, the answer to its Bitcoin problem is no more Bitcoin. CEO of Riot Blockchain John O'Rourke explains the important distinctions between the two technologies.
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