Valve has announced that Steam will no longer accept the cryptocurrency Bitcoin as a form of payment, saying that associated fees and volatility in value make the currency more trouble than it's worth.
The company detailed the decision on Steam's official blog, explaining that recent fluctuations in the value of Bitcoin have made using it on Steam unreasonably difficult and costly for consumers.
For example, Valve says that the transaction fee was roughly $0.20 when it started supporting Bitcoin as a payment option on Steam. Now, just over a year later, Valve has seen transaction fees as high as $20. The company also notes that the day-to-day value of Bitcoin has become more volatile in recent months, in some cases losing as much as 25 percent of its value in a few days time.
The problem, Valve says, comes when a customer transfers Bitcoin during a purchase to cover the cost of the game and Bitcoin's transaction fee. Ideally, the value of Bitcoin would remain stagnant from the transaction's start to its finish, but recent jumps in the currency's volatility mean that the Bitcoin value of a purchase can rapidly change before some transactions are able to finish.
At that point, the customer would either receive a refund or need to transfer additional Bitcoin over to cover the costs, but Valve says there are costly Bitcoin-dictated transaction fees tied to both solutions that make it unrealistic to continue Bitcoin support, though the company says it could re-evaluate the decision in the future.