A lot of noise has been made of Bitcoin recently. The cryptocurrency has been way up, but seen some sharp falls as well in recent weeks. A lot more people seem to be getting into the economy at the moment, too, with a lot of people buying into it and seeing their profits rise. However, if you were hoping to buy a video game with your newfound wealth, sadly you might be out of luck — at least if you are buying it on Steam.
Valve has announced that they are no longer accepting the currency, calling it too “volatile” to process. In a note on Steam, the company said:
“Historically, the value of Bitcoin has been volatile, but the degree of volatility has become extreme in the last few months, losing as much as 25% in value over a period of days. This creates a problem for customers trying to purchase games with Bitcoin. When checking out on Steam, a customer will transfer x amount of Bitcoin for the cost of the game, plus y amount of Bitcoin to cover the transaction fee charged by the Bitcoin network. The value of Bitcoin is only guaranteed for a certain 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.”
“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.”
The reasoning here seems logistical. If a currency is fluctuating drastically from the point of purchase to processing, that definitely is a problem. I will hold my hands up and admit to not being a cryptocurrency economist, but I think this seems at least reasonable from Valve when so much seems to be moving around the currency right now.