If you enjoy playing games on your computer, then chances are that you have heard about Steam, a distribution platform developed by the Valve Corporation, which offers people from all around the world a wide variety of games alongside with multiplayer gaming, social networking and more.
The platform, which is clearly, the most popular in the industry, has recently announced that it will begin accepting payments in bitcoin. While the rumours have been around from as early as February this year, an official update posted on the Steam developer forums now serves as the official announcement.
In the forum announcement, Steam stated that: “We are excited to announce that Steam is going to start accepting payments via Bitcoin”. They continued by saying that: “Bitcoin is becoming an increasingly popular online payment method in some countries, and we’re enabling a system that insulates partners from risk and volatility while still providing value to the end customer”.
According to this, it seems like Steam has decided to employ a third party bitcoin payment processor, instead of asking developers to process the bitcoin transactions by themselves. The processor, which will most like by BitPay, will transform the game’s price from fiat to bitcoin, and then proceed to pay Valve in fiat. Based on this, Steam itself will not get access to the actual bitcoin, but rather to the fiat resulting from its conversion, and so will the developers of the games being purchased via bitcoin.
The integration itself is quite remarkable considering the fact that Steam is a fully electronic marketplace, and Bitcoin a fully electronic currency. This will not only encourage more people to buy games on Steam, but will also allow game developers to sell in-game items via Bitcoin, with the help of the partnership between BitPay and Valve.
At the end of their forum post announcing the update, Steam stated that: “We’re looking forward to the update, and we think it makes Steam an even better place to buy and play games”. At this moment in time, no announcement has been made regarding the actual release date for this future. It is however known that it will be introduced with the next Steam update.
The initial rumours appeared after a couple of Steam users discovered a series of BitPay command lines input into the Steam translation servers.
Based on everything that has been outlined so far, what do you think about Steam finally accepting bitcoin for their games and content? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.