Steam Drops Bitcoin For Being Too Volatile

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The Internet’s biggest game distribution platform and marketplace, Seattle-based Steam, has dropped support for the blockchain-based cryptocurrency known as Bitcoin.

The parting of the ways sent a shock wave that registered on the Richer scales of  both technologists and economists as Bitcoin has been experiencing a serious surge in investor interest and value.

Steam parent company, Valvemade the announcement, blasting Bitcoin for its ever-increasing price volatility.

The root of the problem, according to Steam, are the transaction fees for using Bitcoin, which the site says have increased from 20 cents when Steam first started accepting the cryptocurrency to $20 as of last week.

However,  the more pressing issue is that Bitcoin’s value goes up or down so fast it’s often not possible to complete a transaction before the actual amount of money  the user spent has changed so much that either they need to pay more or Steam has to issue a refund.

“In both these cases, the user is hit with the Bitcoin network transaction fee again,” the Steam Team explained in their announcement. “This year, we’ve seen increasing number of customers get into this state. With the transaction fee being so high right now, it is not feasible to refund or ask the customer to transfer the missing balance (which itself runs the risk of underpayment again, depending on how much the value of Bitcoin changes while the Bitcoin network processes the additional transfer).”

 The cryptocurrency recently hit $13,000 in value less than 24 hours after breaking the $12,000 barrier. The big increases — combined with sudden drops such as last week when bitcoin lost about a fifth of its value out of nowhere — has started to make the cryptocurrency a real pain for sites where people want to use it as, well, a currency.

“At this point, it has become untenable to support Bitcoin as a payment option,” the team said. “We may re-evaluate whether Bitcoin makes sense for us and for the Steam community at a later date.” [24×7]

Category: Pioneer Squared

About the Author (Author Profile)

Larry Sivitz is founder, publisher and managing editor of Seattle24x7, the founder of SearchWrite Search Marketing, an SEO, PPC and Social Media Thought Leader, and an SPJ award winner for Seattle magazine.