Gamers on Valve's Steam platform will soon have another way to pay for the games they love in the form of Bitcoin.
The popular cryptocurrency will officially be making its way to Steam soon, as detailed in a message that Valve recently sent out to developers.
"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," Valve writes.
On the developer end of the equation, nothing will be changing, from the looks of it. Valve will be using an external payment provider to process Bitcoin payments, and even provides a breakdown for how the new option will work for those who decide to use Bitcoin for payment over other methods.
The user is charged the local currency price on Steam given their region (eg. £29.99). The payment processor converts that £29.99 amount into bitcoin based on a daily exchange rate — so the user pays them in bitcoin, and the processor pays us in traditional currency. At no time does Valve receive or hold bitcoin. There is no need to set a bitcoin price or keep track of bitcoin valuation. The purchase price of your product does not change.
All in all, it simply sounds like Valve is attempting to give customers more options when it comes to purchasing games on their service. It's also nice to see that Valve isn't putting any additional burden on developers with this new payment option, as devs are no doubt busy enough already. There's no word yet on when exactly the update will be rolling out, but Valve's wording seems to imply that it will be coming sooner rather than later.
Steam won't be the first digital game storefront to allow for users to pay with Bitcoin. Humble Bundle started accepting Bitcoin payments for certain game bundles earlier this year. It should be interesting to see just how many people use the currency on Steam once the option becomes available. Perhaps Valve will shine some light on the subject in the coming months.
Photo: Jason Benjamin | Flickr