Steam announced back in 2016 that it had partnered with Bitcoin, and its service Bitpay, to allow gamers to purchase games on Steam using the Bitcoin currency. However, a new blog post, the company has announced that the site will no longer accept Bitcoins as a method of payment due to the constant volatility of Bitcoin’s value and high transaction fees.
The post explained that, due to the recent increase in volatility of the value of Bitcoins over the past few months, which includes very steep fees simply for processing transactions via Bitcoin, Steam feels that the currency is no longer suitable. For example, when Steam first partnered with the company, transaction fees via Bitcoin were at roughly $0.20 whereas now the transaction fee stands at almost $20 per payment. This is bad enough when Bitcoin’s value is high, but it becomes much worse when the value drops.
The value has recently become very unstable and has been known to drop in value by as much as 25% over just a few days. The constant change in value can also mean that, simply in the time it takes to purchase a game, a customer may need to pay even more by the time they’ve reached the checkout. 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. This in turn runs the risk of under/overpayment again should the value of Bitcoin change and can result in yet another transaction needing to be performed.
Steam has decided that it is no longer feasible to support Bitcoin as a method of payment and it looks like from now on you’ll need to use a different payment service to buy your Steam games. However, the post did end by stating that Steam may re-evaluate Bitcoin in the future and decide then whether or not it is suitable for the company and its community. Steam intends to keep working with any customers currently experiencing issues from paying with Bitcoin.