Steam, owned by Valve Corporation, announced on Wednesday that it will no longer support bitcoin as a payment method due to the high transaction fees and volatility. Steam began to accept bitcoins as a payment method back in April 2016.
Steam has roughly 33 million daily active users and 67 million monthly active users, ranking it one of the most popular gaming network platforms.
Steam employee, Kurtis Chinn wrote in a blog post: “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, transaction fees that are charged to the customer by the Bitcoin network have skyrocketed this year, topping out at close to $20 a transaction last week (compared to roughly $0.20 when we initially enabled Bitcoin). Unfortunately, Valve has no control over the amount of the fee.”
Chinn then went onto say the volatility has become so unstable that is causes a price variation when the buyer purchases the game to when it is confirmed by Steam and then the bitcoin is exchanged between the two. The price fluctuations can cause Steam to either lose a significant amount of money or make a user pay a higher fee.
Steam users have run into the problems of the volatility and paying significantly more which led to them asking for refunds. Steam said it would not be able to refund all of its users, now ultimately shutting down the cryptocurrency option.
The responses to Steam’s decision is varied. Some users are displeased with the decision, many seem to be indifferent but are requesting Steam accept different cryptocurrency methods such as Bitcoin Gold, Ethereum, Litecoin, and other alternative cryptos.
The fluctuation changes in price for bitcoin is tremendous, as it the price went from nearly $9,000 and then more than doubling to $19,000 shortly on Thursday.
Steam is among many diverse and popular companies that accepts bitcoins. Other companies such as; Microsoft, Bloomberg, Dish Network, Shopify, Tesla, and Reddit also accept the crypto as a payment method.
Whether other companies will follow Steam’s decision is unknown, but it would not be a surprise if other companies do follow Steam. But as of now, it seems as if companies do mind bitcoin due to the high popularity.