An unconfirmed announcement circulating on Reddit has disclosed Steam’s plans to integrate Bitcoin payments into its gaming platform.
According to a snapshot allegedly taken from the publicly unavailable Steamworks Development forum, the gaming distribution platform is close to forming a partnership with an “external payment provider” to add Bitcoin support. The announcement reads:
“Bitcoin is becoming an increasingly popular online payment method in some countries, and we are enabling a system that insulates partners from risk and volatility while still providing value to end customer.”
It is not the first time when Steam and bitcoin are mentioned in the same headline. Earlier this year, a screenshot taken from Steam beta client code had also claimed a possible integration between them and a Bitcoin payment processing company BitPay. There was, however, no confirmation from Valve Corporation — the parent company of Steam — regarding such an advancement.
The latest rumor, however, strengthens the possibilities. Bitcoin is slowly making its presence felt among the online gaming circles for its ability to provide a cheaper transaction alternative. Also, the digital currency ensures to protect merchants and customers from online frauds that are pretty common in credit card industry.
There are already a number of renowned online gaming stores that support Bitcoin payments on their platforms, including Gamesplanet, Kinguin, and Greenmangaming. There are also few cryptocurrencies like Hyper and BigUp that are being extensively used on game servers running Valve Corporations’ most popular flagship game Counter Strike.
Initially launched in 2000, Counter Strike was among the first FPS (first person shooter) multiplayer games to gain a large fan following. Since then, community members constantly contribute various mods to enhance the gameplay by including new levels and game elements, to keep everything up to date with the gamers’ evolving tastes and preferences.
Counter-Strike game server hosts accept various modes of payments including bitcoin, hyper, bigup and other altcoins along with fiat transactions from the gamers. Given the amount of traction received by Valve’s offering, it is not surprising for the company to replicate the same model in its other offerings, including Steam. Steam is a global platform with people from across the world buying games and downloadable patches and content for their games. Allowing bitcoin payments on Steam will create a universal payment option that can be used by gamers, irrespective of their geographic location.
Also, bitcoin has already been equated to in-game currency during its initial days of existence. The digital currency has outgrown this reference, for it has grown to become a global currency that can be used to pay for literally anything under the sun.
As the saying goes, there can be no smoke without a fire, and there have been plenty of rumors about the integration of bitcoin into Steam. So, there is plenty of hope that it may turn out to be true in the coming days.
Ref: Reddit post | Image: Kotaku