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There are a variety of payment methods in Steam made available for people around the world to often times use what's most convenient for them to make purchases from the digital storefront. Well, whether you found Bitcoin to be convenient or not doesn't matter, because Valve has dropped using the payment method for Steam.
In a community post, team members from Valve explained that support for Bitcoin as a payment method was ending. Why? Due to the volatility of the currency's market value. The biggest issue was that Bitcoin's volatility has increased over time, making the value bounce around in ways that has made it both unpredictable and unreliable as a form of currency.
In the post, Valve explains that the company has no control over the fees incurred for using Bitcoin as a payment method. Not only that, but there are bigger transaction fees whenever Bitcoin drops in price, forcing those on the consumer end to eat the costs.
While the post acknowledges that Bitcoin has always been volatile, the value has swung widely in recent times with the transaction fees making it very inconvenient to maintain as a payment method. What's more is that when the value fluctuates and someone attempts to get a refund it means Valve eats the costs when the value raises in between the time of purchase and the refund, or alternatively consumers lose out when the Bitcoin value no longer covers the value of the purchase.
There are a myriad of problems listed, and not many solutions to handle them at the moment. Valve decided to cut its loses and stick with the payment methods that are stable. When it comes to Bitcoin's value, exorbitant transaction fees and instability has made it an nonviable method of payment for Steam.
Not everyone was on board with this decision, especially gamers from around the world where various types of currency are either inflated or hold no value. Some gamers have claimed that trying to buy things online from Venezuela is easier with Bitcoin due to the stable value compared to Venezuela's current currency due to the fluctuation and decline in value from the current economic upheaval taking place in the country. Others stated that Valve should look into a different kind of transaction fee service, since the current one it's using is taking too much off the top.
Some Chinese gamers also chimed in to offer suggestions on different companies Valve could use to perform the transactions of the cryptocurrency. China is one of the largest consumer demographics on Steam, especially given the popularity of certain MMOs and games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds in China. There's no telling how much this will affect their patronage as consumers, though.
However, if you want to purchase games from Steam these days, you'll have to use verified payment methods. This likely comes as a blow to some gamers who had been saving up Bitcoins for the Steam Winter Sale. Now those same gamers will likely have to turn their Bitcoins into a transferable currency and then proceed to buy things off Steam.