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Steam Drops Bitcoin, Citing Volatility And High Fees
PC gaming platform Steam no longer accepts Bitcoin as a payment method, Valve announced today. The company said it won't accept the cryptocurrency any longer due to "high fees and volatility" in its value. Regarding the fees, Valve pointed out that the transaction fee charged to the customer using Bitcoin rose from 20 cents when Valve started accepting it to almost $20 today. Valve doesn't control these fees, but the company is unpleased with the situation it puts its users in.
Regarding the volatility (Bitcoin stands at around $13,000 USD today but it fluctuates significantly and often), Valve said this is problematic in part because Bitcoin's value is only guaranteed for a set period of time. "So if the transaction doesn't complete within that window of time, then the amount of Bitcoin needed to cover the transaction can change. The amount it can change has been increasing recently to a point where it can be significantly different," Valve said.
The way it worked in this situation was that Valve would refund the payment or charge more to cover the remaining balance. "At this point, it has become untenable to support Bitcoin as a payment option. We may re-evaluate whether Bitcoin makes sense for us and for the Steam community at a later date," Valve said.
Some believe that Bitcoin's bubble is about to burst. "This is a bubble and there is a lot of froth. This is going to be the biggest bubble of our lifetimes," Mike Novogratz, a hedge fund manager, told Bloomberg.