Valve is the latest retailer to end Bitcoin support. As of today, PC digital retailer Steam will no longer accept Bitcoin as valid currency for purchases. Valve cited the highly volatile value of Bitcoin and the ballooning processing fees as the reasons behind their decision. Bitcoin’s value has skyrocketed from $2000 USD (approximately $2660 AUD) in January 2017 to over $15,000 USD (approximately $19,949 AUD) as of today. As a result, the processing fees have also risen. Valve states that when they began accepting Bitcoin as a payment back in early 2016, the transaction fee was about $0.20 USD, but has now shot up to $20 USD.
The volatile nature of Bitcoin has resulted in more and more payments getting rejected. Valve calculates the value of the purchase in USD and Bitcoin values are only guaranteed for a certain period of time, so a slow transaction can result in a payment being rejected for underpayment. When combined with the high transaction fee, Valve and the buyer get caught in a difficult situation as a second transaction means more fees, whether it is Valve refunding the purchase or the buyer covering the difference. At the end of the day, Valve has decided this is too much of a hassle and is dropping Bitcoin all together. However, Valve hasn’t completely shut the door on Bitcoin, noting in their announcement that they would be willing to revisit the issue in the future.