Citing volatile value, Steam drops Bitcoin support

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Those fees are never more than a couple of bucks.

Under the European Union-wide plan, online platforms where Bitcoin is traded will be required to carry out due diligence on customers and report suspicious transactions, with the move created to end the anonymity of the cryptocurrency. Unfortunately, Valve has no control over the amount of the fee. 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).

The online game distributor stated concerns about the volatile nature of Bitcoin's value as well as the increase in fees it requires to process transactions made with the cryptocurrency. Over the last week alone, the price has gone from $9,500 for a single Bitcoin to over $13,000. And these ups and downs cause significant logistical problems for a company trying to process purchases.

Since the value of Bitcoin is "only guaranteed for a certain period of time", if a transaction is not completed within that time frame, the value of the agreed upon BTC can fluctuate greatly, leaving either customers or Valve to cover the difference. But transactions can often take longer than the Bitcoin Network guarantees the value of the currency. "The amount it can change has been increasing recently to a point where it can be significantly different", Valve said. Its volatility and transaction costs are a common sticking point for those looking to use it as a currency, yet the possible solutions to these pitfalls could imperil the decentralization that makes bitcoin appealing in the first place. Besides, very few people user Bitcoin for everyday transactions because of the very slow processing speeds and high fees involved per transaction. "This year, we've seen increasing number of customers get into this slate".

Valve's shirking of bitcoin is another development in a broader debate about the usefulness of the cryptocurrency. But it says that it's not done with the digital coin for good.

Steam described how the rapid rise and fall of Bitcoin versus the U.S. dollar has impacted users trying to buy games with the cryptocurrency.