Valve Removes Bitcoin Payment Option From Steam

Back in April of last year, the mammoth digital gaming platform Steam began accepting Bitcoins as a form of payment. Now that the cryptocurrency has ballooned and plummeted in value, the digital distributor is removing the payment option from their platform.

Valve notes that the “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.” They also noted that this is a massive increase when compared to the rate when they initially accepted the currency, which was $.20 per transaction.

The company said that the have no control over the amount of the fee, and that the fees result in unreasonably high costs for purchasing games with the cryptocurrency. While the overall value of Bitcoin has skyrocketed in the past year or so, Valve cites an incident where Bitcoin lost 25% of its value in a few days, only to regain it later.

“We may re-evaluate whether Bitcoin makes sense for us and for the Steam community at a later date,” Valve said. “We will continue working to resolve any pending issues for customers who are impacted by existing underpayments or transaction fees.”

Do you use Bitcoin? If not, have you ever considered buying into the cryptocurrency? Sound off in the comments below!

Brandon Orselli

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Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.

  • Well, yea, when it’s $13K for a single Bitcoin and it’s jumped up from the under $1K it was at the start of the year, that doesn’t really surprise me. It’s really exploded over the past few months. Kinda wonder when it’ll reach its peak before the inevitable bubble burst.

    If I would’ve bought, it would’ve been years ago.

  • bgrunge

    After it crashes, and it will, HARD, I think it’ll be a good time to buy

  • Anon_Amous

    Gabe is just gearing up to accept Ethereum so he can use it to buy My Little Pony merchandise. Meanwhile, please enjoy Portal Bridge Builder.

  • huh I never knew Steam took bitcoin in the first place

  • Riosine

    Glad to see the bitcoin meme crashing. Currency was just doomed to failure cause even if everyone adopts it there is always the chance that a Real life mathematician would find the General solution and get infinite bitcoins making their value negligible.

    (A bitcoin is basically owning 1 of the infinte solutions of a complex equation calculated through Random + trial and error)

  • vonSanneck

    Interested in the blockchain, but not so much about the cryptocurrency.

  • Exien

    Bitcoin is just like Art people themself gives this thing the value they think it has, even if it useless. You can be a great artist and get almost nothing or you can be a artist who was lucky hipsters think you are good even if you a shit, same with all other Bitcoin alternatives.

  • The scam known as Bitcoin is still on going? People are still falling for it!?

  • What is Ethereum?

  • VanFinale

    This makes that rumour that Tencent is buying Valve seem a little more plausible since China is trying to stamp out bitcoin.

  • Uncle Ocelot

    Oh Jesus… fucking Tencent.

  • malbhet

    WTF is a bitcoin?!

  • Matz

    A memecurrency that a lot of people have been forcing from some time ago

  • Psichaos

    This is gonna sound a little like stating the obvious and a little shady, but Bitcoin is decent for situations where regular currency cannot be used. It was never really meant a currency to be used in a legitimate storefront where constant trading is occurring, since Bitcoin is way too chaotic and fluctuates too much. A store can be rolling in dough one week and then struggling to make ends meet the next under Bitcoin. Someone’s getting robbed every transaction, whether it’s the buyer or seller is completely up to chance. Someone who used Bitcoin maybe 3 months ago on a video game purchase had probably spent an equivalent of $300 on that game today, and once Steam has to rely on the bitcoin they got to pay their server and bandwidth costs, the value of Bitcoin ends up dropping below expectations and find themselves coming up short. It’s not exactly reliable for the long-term operation of a store.

    Bitcoin was always meant to be a currency operating outside the bounds of regular, more official currency of various governments. Bitcoin’s strength (and weakness) is that it isn’t susceptible to regulation by government or centrally controlled by a handful of banks, and because of that, things like abusing the government or bank’s control over currency and trying to censor an individual or organization by restricting their ability to transact currency and financially strangling them, such as the case is with Wikileaks, are subverted by the existence of a decentralized crypto-currency.

  • Kainevil Rc

    More Cryptobullshit

  • Heuristics

    No, this is factually inaccurate. You get 12.5 bitcoins if you find the solution to the current problem and attach that solution into a block on the top of the blockchain, this happens about every 10 minutes. After that a new solution needs to be found and it must be based on your previous result. It is literally impossible to attach more than one block at a time. There is a maximum of 21 million (due to rule consensus) bitcoins and we already have close to 17 million of those created.

  • Heuristics

    It is not the case that the original vision for bitcoin did not include small payments such as for a steam game or a cup of hot beverage. This was in Satoshis vision. It is however a technical engineering challenge to get there. We already have Segwit which has dramatically lowered transaction fees and are going to get Lightning so it is a problem actively being worked on.

  • Tubsiwub

    That was an option? Man, so many people were having an easy time getting free games with stolen money.

  • David Curry

    I bought one bitcoin out of curiosity back in 2015, for $350. And holy fuck.

  • iswear12

    I hope to god this rumor isn’t true. If Tencent ends up owning the largest gaming storefront (and also one of the largest gaming companies themselves) then honestly the gaming industry has next to no hope left.

  • Riosine

    Eh? Do you even Realize a General Solution is a Function that Generates the set of every working solutions for a equations?

    So how is this inacurate? It sound more like you Don’t understand how how Real Formal Mathematics works.

  • Heuristics

    This is not how bitcoin works. The existence of any given bitcoin does not come from an equation. Every bitcoin in existence got there by being a reward for a miner (for being the first to solve a problem based on the previous block) that then got to include them on the top block of the block chain. It is literally impossible to just solve a function in order to get bitcoin, you must solve a function based on the previous block and then add a new block containing the new bitcoin (currently 12.5 per new block) to the blockchain and the node community will only allow a new node about every 10 minutes.

  • Riosine

    Oh silly The General solution can always be written as Function for anything.
    / Even is the Problem is something like a Vector, polynomial, Tensor or Octionion Sequence. You will be able to find a Function f(x)ax = y or something like f(x) zx =y if you have more variablesm, each one with different infinite dimension set of solutions)

    So How exactly a makes the thing impossible for it have a General solution?
    I can define the seried An = /a(n-1))^2 + (an + an-1). That is exactly a progression that requires you to known the last number squared to known the next but turn out the things just collapses to f(n) = n^2 = A(n) when solved. What make you thing bitcoins can defy this induction?

  • Heuristics

    the last solution that you need to base the next solution on includes transaction data created by users, it is not possible to know that bob bought a cookie for x btc in the last block which will influence what solution you need to come up with for the current hashing calculation. even bracketing that there is still only 4 million bitcoin left to be found and only 12.5 new ones allowed every 10 minutes with all new ones checked against consensus rules. please just read up on it instead of writing about things you do not understand.

  • Riosine

    So you can’t explain it either cause you just told me that once the last coin be fouund the equation couldn’t be solved anymore and no more transactions could be made, Which make no sense

    I Don’t need to Read any kind of delusional bitcoin bible I simply need a Proof Bitcoins aren’t infinite, That the system is artificially handicapped doesn’t at all demonstrate that

  • Gamegodtre

    my thought is that once the cap is avhieved there may be a code thatll stop allowing them to be generated, as techinquelly you are right that there should be infinite bitcoins eventually unless someone wants to post a mathematical proof debunking this. since i sure as hell dont wanna try and prove either side of the problem that it can go to infinite or that there are finite coins, since i just dont have the time

  • Shinobu

    How is Tencent so large? Are the moronic whales in China playing f2p gatcha shit really funding their lifeline? Or is it just typical Chinese corrupt business practices with little to no regulation?

  • JohnnyCageFan2

    And everyone is worried about North Korea.

  • JohnnyCageFan2

    > spent an equivalent of $300 on that game today

    That’s probably something you don’t want EA to know.

  • Chocolate ISISCream

    So this… is the power… of naive blue pilled brainlets… whoa…

  • Chocolate ISISCream

    t. poorfag

  • Sounds like they’re expecting it to cap out around $25K. That’s one heck of an investment. I’d keep track of what it gets to, though, and watch that market like a hawk before it drops out.

  • ProxyDoug

    That could be the single worst thing to happen to gaming in the last few years.

  • chaoguy

    I think they already own Unreal Engine- or another Chinese company. Don’t think Trump considered that when/if he plans to implement a tax on Chinese goods.

    In any case, while I loathe Tencent, I have to agree with others that since the currency is “unstable”, they don’t want to deal with it. Which ironically makes it more unstable since less places will take it.
    Anti Bitcoin shilling aside, it’ll only stop being unstable if it’s regulated like other currencies- and then it’ll cease to be anonymous or have such dramatic investment rises/falls.

  • The only thing that isn’t bologna is the transaction fees. That Bitcoin is valued so high only means the Dollar is the unstable currency (and every other fiat currency, at that).

  • UnpluggedBeta

    All of the above plus government subsidies I imagine. Where do you think all those US dollars they buy up go?

  • UnpluggedBeta

    Quoting rationalwiki? Are you for real?

  • UnpluggedBeta

    Even though I’m an engineer, I have no idea how their block chain works and I don’t really care. All I know is that we made two grand for a hundred of risk having bots do all the work for us. It’s pure gambling and I have no idea why people buy into this, but there’s still plenty of profit to be made for little to no effort.

    I imagine that’s what’s driving the market: speculators like me armed with bot nets jumping into any exchange dumb enough to have a public api and then getting out the minute we hit a profit threshold, or even instructing the net to ride it to see how far we go.

    Hey, that’s exactly like the current state of the stock market, only it’s illegal for small fries to do what the big timers do! Hilarious.

  • UnpluggedBeta

    That’s not correct: the real meme currency is Dogecoin and I believe it’s at #2 in cryptocurrencies despite being a literal meme currency.

  • Riosine

    Sure since the scheme theory explains why a “Decentralized” system suddenly arbitrary decided the infinite source of bitcoins need to capped?
    While the Conservapedia seem to be advocating for it to become the new gold standar. can’t tell if its trolling or just that stupid

    But whateve. have a new quote this from Uncyclopedia

    The Bitcoin enchants libertarians and anarchists everywhere because it unites three of their core beliefs:

    1-They distrust everything that government does.
    2-They trust everything they read on the Internet.
    3-They love to make a statement about themselves by buying and installing things that baffle their neighbors.

    Libertarians and anarchists are always trying to invent replacements
    for the frilly services that government provides. This includes
    home-schools, private media of exchange, and occasionally personal armies with nuclear bombs.

    Nothing could fit this community
    more perfectly than non-government money, whose only proof is Internet messages, and which none of their neighbors are ever going to understand — or accept in payment for the damage that Spot did yesterday to the shrubbery.