Valve has decided to start accepting Bitcoin payments on Steam in an attempt to expand the accessibility its digital distribution empire into emerging gaming markets such as India, China, and Brazil. By adding Bitcoin to the mix, Valve is making it easier for gamers who live in places where traditional payment options aren’t available to stock their online libraries.
Bitpay will handle the logistics of accepting the popular cryptocurrency through Steam. According to Bitpay, it was Valve that approached the company to make this possible so that it could “easily reach gamers in every market around the world,” and do it “without the high fees or the risk of chargeback fraud that come with card payments.”
“Whether they’re hardcore gamers or first-time players, Steam’s players deserve a faster, safer payment method. With Steam’s Bitcoin integration, customers will be able to use any bitcoin wallet to scan, pay, and get back to gaming in seconds without having to provide sensitive financial information,” said Rory Desmond, Director of Business Development at Bitpay.
Steam is currently used by more than 89 million gamers spread across 237 countries. It’s catalog of titles runs more than 9,000 deep, making it by far the most popular digital distribution platform for games in the world.
As to the safety of Bitcoin, it’s not totally without risk. There’s little recourse if someone’s Bitcoin wallet is hacked and emptied. There’s also the concern of the wild volatility of Bitcoin’s value, though that was more of an issue 2-3 years ago than it is today.