Steams Drops Bitcoin as Payment Option, Citing Price Surges

The rollercoaster rising value of Bitcoin has forced online gaming distributor Steam to drop the cryptocurrency as a payment method. A year ago, it cost a mere $0.20 to process transaction fees for Bitcoin payments, but due to the digital currency’s surging value, those fees can now reach as high as $20, …

The rollercoaster rising value of Bitcoin has forced online gaming distributor Steam to drop the cryptocurrency as a payment method.

A year ago, it cost a mere $0.20 to process transaction fees for Bitcoin payments, but due to the digital currency’s surging value, those fees can now reach as high as $20, according to Steam.

“At this point, it has become untenable to support Bitcoin as a payment option,” the platform wrote in a Wednesday blog post.

Steam made the announcement as the value of a single bitcoin is surging to $14,000. That’s huge leap from the $450 price when the platform began offering the digital currency as a payment method in April 2016.

Steam said it had no control over the high transaction fees, which are charged by the Bitcoin network.

For example, when customers made product purchases, the transactions were set to a fixed value for Bitcoin — but only for a set amount of time. If any transaction didn’t complete within that window of time, it was subject to a potential price change, which can significantly alter the cost.

Steam tried to solve the problem by offering refunds to customers who overpaid. In times when Bitcoin’s value suddenly sunk, Steam asked for customers to fork over additional funds to cover the remaining balance.

However, Steam said making up the balance for all these Bitcoin transaction is no longer “feasible” when the digital currency’s value has been skyrocketing. In the last week alone, the price has gone up over $4000.

To process the Bitcoin payments, Steam had been using a company called BitPay, which is based in Atlanta, Georgia.

“We’re disappointed we can’t work with them right now,” said BitPay communications manager James Walpole.

He said that the volatile fees with Steam purchases can come from timing delays associated with confirming transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain, which is constantly being updated but can suffer from network congestion.

Some Bitcoin wallet services can also be slow to broadcast transactions, and take hours, instead of minutes, Walpole said.

BitPay is trying to streamline the payment processes. In the meantime, Steam said it may reconsider its decision to drop Bitcoin support at a later date.

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Bitcoin and Ethereum Price Forecast – BTC Prices Reach $14000

Bitcoin prices pushed through to another all time highs on the charts as the bulls seem to be in quite a hurry to push the prices higher and gain maximum returns before the futures are launched at the CME and the CBOE. When the bitcoin market began its current leg of the bullish run from the $11,000 …

Bitcoin prices pushed through to another all time highs on the charts as the bulls seem to be in quite a hurry to push the prices higher and gain maximum returns before the futures are launched at the CME and the CBOE. When the bitcoin market began its current leg of the bullish run from the $11,000 region, we had said that the prices would be targeting the $15,000 region by the end of the month but we are already in the $14,000 region and the $15,000 price region should be attainable by the end of this week.

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Bitcoin Prices Size up $15,000

Then comes the little uncertainty regarding the impact of the launch of bitcoin futures at the CME on the bitcoin market and prices. Traders and investors believe that it would lead to more of 2 way trading than the one sided trading that we are seeing in the bitcoin market at this point of time but all this is a matter of conjecture. At the end of the day, the introduction may not have any major impact on the prices and the prices may continue to move higher as more and more traders are drawn into the bitcoin craze and other markets begin to lose their sheen. Also, with us approaching the end of the year, the liquidity in the other markets begin to lessen and this could also be a factor in many of the traders moving from the other markets to the bitcoin period atleast until the end of the year, after which the liquidity would pick up.

Bitcoin 4H
Bitcoin 4H

The Ethereum market has managed to hold on to the $430 region but a trip back to the broken resistance in the $410 region is on the cards and would not be a surprise if and when it happens. The ETH market is no longer in focus and the network has also been facing a lot of issues over the last few days as the launch of a new ICO revolving around virtual kittens has clogged the network and made the transfers difficult and delayed as well.

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Forecast

Looking ahead to the rest of the day, it would not be a surprise to see the BTC prices continue on their bullish run for the day and may even threaten the $15,000 psychological resistance in a day or two. The ETH market is expected to be a bystander as all the traders and investors flock to the BTC market.

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Bitcoin blasts past $14000 in new all-time high

Bitcoin blasts past $14,000 in new all-time high. The cryptocurrency was last up 2.94 % at $14,030.00 at the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange. Reuters | TOKYO Last Updated at December 7, 2017 09:08 IST. Tiny URL Add to My Page Print …

Bitcoin soared to a record high of $14,047.40 on Thursday, continuing its surge from below $1,000 at the beginning of the year.

The cryptocurrency was last up 2.94 percent at $14,030.00 at the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange.

Bitcoin extended its rally on Wednesday, breaking above $13,000 to a record high despite questions about the cryptocurrency’s real value and worries about a dangerous bubble.=btsp>

Bitcoin received a boost after Friday’s announcement by the main U.S. derivatives regulator that it would allow CME Group Inc and CBOE Global Markets to list bitcoin futures contracts.

The move opens the door to added regulation but also more mainstream adoption, as bitcoin futures and other derivatives would make it easier to trade the new asset class.

“Simply the perception in households around the world that the CME and the CBOE are providing legitimacy to bitcoin is really what is driving the massive rally here,” said Karl Schamotta, director of global product and market strategy at Cambridge Global Payments in Toronto.

Bitcoin’s ascent of over 10-fold from below $1,000 at the start of the year has drawn regulatory scrutiny around the world.

Some high profile individuals such as Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz have said the cryptocurrency should be outlawed.

“It took a long time to establish the methodology and the way bitcoin was traded. The original appeal came from the fact they were unregulated. However it’s clearly moved out of those shadows and into centre stage,” said Mick McCarthy, CMC Markets’ chief market strategist in Sydney.

“We are in the throes of a bubble market, and one of the characteristics of a bubble market is that there is no way to know when the bubble will burst.”

=btsp>

The current craze for bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies in general, have been likened by some to the 17th century Dutch tulip mania and more recently the dotcom bubble.

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‘Wall of money’ pushes bitcoin over $US14,000

Bitcoin now seems like a charging train with no brakes,” ASR Wealth equities and derivatives adviser Shane Chanel said in a note on Thursday. “There is an unfathomable amount of new participants piling into the cryptocurrency market. It’s basic Economics 101, with such strong demand and limited …

Less than a day after cracking $US12,000, the cryptocurrency surged another 17 per cent to pass first through $US13,000 and then $US14,000 on Wednesday US time, according to research site CoinDesk.

The volatile currency has now skyrocketed in value by more than 1300 per cent since the start of the year, bringing its total market capitalisation — the price multiplied by the number of coins in circulation — to just under $US244 billion, according to Coinmarketcap.

“Bitcoin now seems like a charging train with no brakes,” ASR Wealth equities and derivatives adviser Shane Chanel said in a note on Thursday.

“There is an unfathomable amount of new participants piling into the cryptocurrency market. It’s basic Economics 101, with such strong demand and limited supply, there’s only one way this can go. Exchanges are reporting that there are mountains of applicants waiting on verification documents and deposits.

“Once these funds hit the market, what do you think the price will do? This is nothing like I have ever seen before. I have never seen so much greed and fear of missing out.”

Analysts have put the latest frenzy of activity down to the imminent launch of two bitcoin futures markets, after the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) both obtained regulatory approval.

Bitcoin futures, through which investors can bet on the rise or fall of the digital currency, will add a layer of regulatory oversight and allow larger institutional investors to begin pouring money into the sector.

“Onwards and upwards,” IG chief market strategist Chris Weston wrote. “And while a wall of money flows into this market every single day it seems the launch, this weekend, of the CBOE futures offering is being taken as a positive and not one where suddenly traders have a new avenue to short bitcoin.

“Hedge funds do not short a market that is flying — it makes no sense. However, when price does turn and there is confusion, even panic and the bid dries up, then watch the short sellers come out in droves and this is only going to mean downside moves, when they happen, could be even bigger from here on in.”

Mr Chanel said while there would “undoubtedly be small corrections along the way”, there was a good chance bitcoin would touch $US16,000 by the end of the year and he “wouldn’t be surprised” if bitcoin reaches $US40,000 by next year.

But he warned that there would “most certainly” be a correction “once the hype slows down”. “Currently through most exchanges, in order to buy any cryptocurrency, you have to buy bitcoin first,” he said. “Imagine if you had to buy Google or Apple shares in order to buy any other shares on the market.

“Is this likened to the dotcom bust? … The blockchain technology is going to have a similar impact on the market like … the internet did several years back.”

While a growing number of merchants are accepting bitcoin as payment, the vast majority of interest in the cryptocurrency is undeniably as a speculative asset rather than a tool for day-to-day commerce.

On Wednesday, the world’s largest online game store Steam said it would “no longer support bitcoin as a payment method on our platform due to high fees and volatility in the value of bitcoin”.

According to Steam parent company Valve, transaction fees associated with bitcoin payments — passed on by third-party platform Bitpay — had surged from about 20 US cents when it first offered bitcoin payment last April to $US20 last week.

“Unfortunately, Valve has no control over the amount of the fee,” the company said in a statement. “These fees result in unreasonably high costs for purchasing games when paying with bitcoin. The high transaction fees cause even greater problems when the value of bitcoin itself drops dramatically.”

frank.chung@news.com.au

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Bitcoin Soars Through $14000 Mark, Up More Than 40% This Month

Cboe Global Markets Inc. has said it will start trading bitcoin futures on Dec. 10, while CME Group Inc.’s contracts are set to debut on Dec. 18. Nasdaq Inc. is planning to offer futures in 2018, according to a person familiar with the matter. Cantor Fitzgerald LP’s Cantor Exchange is creating a bitcoin …

Bitcoin climbed as much as 7.9 percent on Thursday as it surged above $14,000, extending this month’s advance to more than 40 percent. The price of the cryptocurrency touched $14,399.99, a record, according to Bloomberg pricing.

ASX Ltd., the main exchange operator for equities and derivatives in Australia, on Thursday said it will start using blockchain to process equity transactions. Blockchain is the ledger software that makes bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies possible, and Digital Asset Holdings LLC, the startup run by former JPMorgan Chase & Co. banker Blythe Masters, will supply the technology.

Blythe Masters tells banks that blockchain will change everything

Bitcoin also got a boost from a successful test of the Lightning Network, which promises to provide a new way to pay with bitcoin. The technology would move some transactions away from the blockchain by allowing buyers and sellers to transact privately and later broadcast their activity to the public network. Supporters say it will ease the on-going congestion plaguing bitcoin.

On Wednesday, the three companies behind the technology — Lightning Labs, Blockstream Corp. and ACINQ — successfully made multiple payments. This is the first time their system has been used on bitcoin’s actual blockchain, according to Elizabeth Stark, head of Lightning Labs. She said this paves the way toward testing with outside businesses.

“We had done some tests before on the main net, but this was the first payment on the bitcoin blockchain across implementations,” Stark said in an email. “The stakes are quite a bit higher when it comes to releasing for the main bitcoin network.”

The price of bitcoin cash fell after the news, slumping 7.4 percent to $1,321, according to prices on Bitfinex. The rival offers a separate solution to bitcoin’s congestion issue.

Read more about the battle between bitcoin and bitcoin cash.

Bitcoin’s latest price move will add to a chorus coming from naysayers who assert the speculative frenzy is an asset bubble waiting to pop. The largest cryptocurrency by market value has soared from less than $1,000 at the start of the year, up more than 1,300 percent.

Cboe Global Markets Inc. has said it will start trading bitcoin futures on Dec. 10, while CME Group Inc.’s contracts are set to debut on Dec. 18. Nasdaq Inc. is planning to offer futures in 2018, according to a person familiar with the matter. Cantor Fitzgerald LP’s Cantor Exchange is creating a bitcoin derivative, and startup LedgerX already offers options.

Bitcoin was trading up 6 percent at $14,184.99 as of 1:30 p.m. Tokyo time.

See here for more coverage of bitcoin’s volatile ride:

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Bitcoin Volatility Intensifies as Exchanges Struggle With Demand

All About Bitcoin, Blockchain and Their Crypto World: QuickTake

— With assistance by Yuji Nakamura

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