Valve notes that transaction fees have risen drastically throughout the year, and as we head into 2018, those fees are closing in on $20 per transaction.
Some customers adding bitcoins had even been caught out a second time as the value changed again.
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In a blog post on Wednesday, Steam wrote that "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".
"These fees result in unreasonably high costs for purchasing games when paying with Bitcoin", Valve said in a statement. Over the last week alone, the price has gone from $9,500 for a single Bitcoin to over $13,000. For Bitcoin, however, the cryptocurrency market takes a fee when a Bitcoin owner initiates a transaction. But it is not a steady ascent.
"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 [percent] in value over a period of days", Valve continued. As you can imagine, this can be particularly annoying for users that transfer a certain amount of the cryptocurrency, only to discover that this amount is no longer sufficient because its value has dropped.
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It noted that value is only guaranteed for a short time.
"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 company said. The solution is no longer feasible, as additional transactions incur more costly transaction fees, and may not immediately solve the problem as bitcoin's value could keep on fluctuating.
Steam's original policy was to refund the original payment method back to the buyer or request additional Bitcoin to cover the change in value. That may sound like an improbable scenario but as Coindesk reported earlier today, Bitcoin's value recently surged by more than $1000 in just 24 hours-and Valve said that "we've seen increasing numbers of customers get into this state" this year.
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Bitstamp, one of the most established exchanges for cryptocurrency, announced that it would trade Bitcoin Cash in November. This highlights the limitations of the cryptocurrency, and Valve now doesn't accept any alternatives.