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Steam drops Bitcoin support as cryptocurrency surges to record levels

Updated Dec 7th, 2017 7:50AM EST
Bitcoin Price
Image: Zach Copley

Bitcoin needed less than a day to break new records, topping $14,000 and then $15,000, and it looks like there’s no stopping the most popular currency in the world. Bitcoin has risen more than $3,000 in the last two days, which is great news for anyone holding savings in Bitcoin.

However, not everybody is happy with the Bitcoin surge. Steam, just announced that it’ll no longer accept Bitcoin payments for games, as the transfer fees are just too expensive for gamers.

If you do happen to hold any Bitcoin at the moment, spending it on Steam titles is probably not the best idea, to begin with. You’d be better off keeping the cryptocurrency a while longer.

Steam, however, is probably not going to support Bitcoin anytime soon.

Transaction fees increased from $0.20 when Steam initially enabled Bitcoin up to $20, which is a huge price to pay for buyers. Some of the games available on Steam are even cheaper than that. The volatility of Bitcoin is also a problem:

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.

So if you’re buying Steam games these days just use regular cash, and save your Bitcoins for a rainy day.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.