Valve initially joined in on the action past year when it started accepting bitcoin for purchases on its PC gaming store, Steam. However, a new blog post, the company has announced that the site will no longer accept Bitcoins as a method of payment due to the constant volatility of Bitcoin's value and high transaction fees. Regarding the fees, Valve pointed out that the transaction fee charged to the customer using Bitcoin rose from 20 cents when Valve started accepting it to nearly $20 today.
Valve has no control over Bitcoin fees and laments over the 'unreasonably high costs for purchasing games when paying with Bitcoin'.
Valve, the company that owns Steam, noted the value for Bitcoin only stays stable for a certain period of time and can change before a transaction has been completed.
"Historically, the value of Bitcoin has been volatile, but the degree of volatility has become extreme in the last few months, losing as much as 25 percent in value over a period of days", Valve wrote.
But this only applies if you were holding BTC and wanted to see the price drive up, meaning you wouldn't use it in the real-world if the value continues skyrocketing like it has this year - going from $1000 to almost $13,000 in 12 months. "The high transaction fees cause even greater problems when the value of Bitcoin itself drops dramatically".
For example, when customers made product purchases, the transactions were set to a fixed value for Bitcoin - but only for a set amount of time.
Some Bitcoin wallet services can also be slow to broadcast transactions, and take hours, instead of minutes, Walpole said.
Steam, which did not return a request for comment by deadline, called the fees "untenable" in its announcement, though the gaming company will reevaluate bitcoin as a payments option in the future.
Finally, if it doesn't make financial sense for retailers to accept bitcoin (because of the associated transaction fees and volatility), then that perception might dissuade widespread adoption of bitcoin as a currency.
The way it worked in this situation was that Valve would refund the payment or charge more to cover the remaining balance. Crypto Vouchers now only support Bitcoin, but support for other cryptocurrencies is planned in the future, including Etherum and Litecoin.
Valve has not announced if they will ever allow the use of cryptocurrencies on Steam again, but for now users should plan alternative options for payment if they were only using Bitcoin.