If you're a gamer swimming in bitcoin wealth, you are out of luck. Steam, a major gaming client, has announced that it will no longer support the use of bitcoin.
Bitcoin is an efficient way for users and internet denizens to accumulate weath and value. Like most currency, it has an exchange rate with the US Dollar, and that's all fine and good if you have a bit of digital currency worth $10 or even $10,000. But if you thought you were going to trade that in at the next Steam holiday sale, think again.
On December 6, 2017, Steam "announced ... that it will no longer accept Bitcoin as payment." According to Motherboard, Steam gains about "new users at a rate of roughly 1.5 million a month."
Valve, the company behind Steam and its popularity, released a statement about this latest move. They claim that bitcoin is too volatile and unreliable.
“The degree of volatility has become extreme in the last few months, losing as much as 25% in value over a period of days,” Steam explained in a blog post on Wednesday.
“In the past few months we've seen an increase in the volatility in the value of Bitcoin and a significant increase in the fees to process transactions on the Bitcoin network,” they continued. “Transaction fees that are charged to the customer by the Bitcoin network have skyrocketed this year, topping out at close to $20 a transaction last week. ”
WHen bitcoin first became usable in the Steam store, the company reports that users paid about 20 cents per bitcoin transaction. But bitcoin has grown, and is now worth a lot more than that. According to Motherboard, bitcoin went from "worth $700 per coin to more than $10,000, and the currency is susceptible to losing thousands of dollars in value overnight." All this in just under a year. This means that a transaction can cost users much more than they initially intended to pay for a game, or a lot less.
"At this point, it has become untenable to support Bitcoin as a payment option,” Steam said. “We may re-evaluate whether Bitcoin makes sense for us and for the Steam community at a later date.”
This is just another space where gamers cannot spend their hardearned crypto. Luckily, websites like Expedia and eGifter still accept the e-currency, and will let you purchase gift cards for places that do not directly accept bitcoin.