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Steam stops supporting bitcoin as a mode of transaction

07 December 2017, 02:12 | Kevin Scott

Steam stops supporting bitcoin as a mode of transaction

Steam stops supporting bitcoin as a mode of transaction

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.

Along with Bitcoin's skyrocketing valuation, transaction fees charged to customers have also risen dramatically, from the 20 cents when the company enabled Bitcoin support two years ago to $20 last week, Valve said in a blog post. If the user then needs to either pay more money, or receive a refund from Steam, they are hit with another costly transaction fee from Bitcoin. 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.

"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", wrote Chinn.

Valve explained that the value of Bitcoin is only guaranteed for a certain period of time, and if a transaction is not completed with the time frame, the amount of Bitcoin needed for the transaction can change. Steam cites "skyrocketing" transaction fees that have closed in on $20 a purchase, in comparison to the $0.20 when the service was offered originally. Others, such as McAfee Antivirus founder John McAfee, fervently believe that the price will soar to $1 million per coin by 2020.

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Steam is no longer accepting Bitcoin as a payment method, saying it's "untenable" to support the soaring cryptocurrency.

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. "The amount it can change has been increasing recently to a point where it can be significantly different", Valve said. Besides, very few people user Bitcoin for everyday transactions because of the very slow processing speeds and high fees involved per transaction.

In October, Vietnam banned cryptocurrency payments, with the State Bank of Vietnam declaring Bitcoin was not a legal payment method from the start of next year. Valve's move was part of a larger acceptance of the digital currency, which is now accepted by more than 100,000 merchants worldwide, including Microsoft, Dish and Subway.



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