Valve has announced the integration of digital currency into its Steam platform, thus confirming the news about bitcoin support it revealed earlier this month. The company has teamed up with payment processor BitPay to let users top up their wallets with bitcoin.
Launched in 1996, Steam serves millions of users in 237 countries. The platform offers over 9,000 games, including Counter-Strike, Left 4 Dead, Portal, and Half-Life.
Information about possible bitcoin integration first appeared this February. As Valve’s representatives said at the time, the use of digital currency would help to increase the security of the Steam platform. According to the company’s statistics, about 77,000 accounts are hacked each month.
The new feature will allow users, including those in developing markets, such as Brazil, China and India, to quickly make payments without the need to provide sensitive financial data.
“Valve reached out to us because they were looking for a fast, international payment method for Steam users in emerging gaming markets in countries like India, China, and Brazil,” BitPay said.
“While more users are coming online in these countries, traditional payment options like credit cards often aren’t available. As the internet’s universal currency, Bitcoin will allow Steam to easily reach gamers in every market around the world – without the high fees or the risk of chargeback fraud that come with card payments.”
To pay with bitcoin, users have to select ‘Bitcoin’ in the payment option, after what they will be redirected to BitPay. The site will display the balance on their bitcoin wallets and the sum available for spending. Besides, it will display the quick response (QR) code that can be easily scanned with a mobile device.
After scanning the code, bitcoins can be transferred to the Steam platform. Once the transaction is completed, users will receive an email to confirm the payment.
Bitcoin Usage in Gaming Industry
The adoption of digital currency by gaming companies is growing at a fast pace now. Bitcoin’s benefits make it the perfect payment method for gamers. In addition to low transaction prices, the digital currency significantly increases the speed of payments.
As BitPay noted, it is planning to partner with more gaming companies to increase the usage of virtual currency by gamers.
In February, the payment processor announced a partnership with the online gaming giant Wargaming. The new feature enabled users to acquire in-game items using bitcoin micropayments.
“With bitcoin, Wargaming is taking a new step to reach the growing base of users playing its MMO games in the United States. As a native digital top-up method, bitcoin will give Wargaming’s customers an alternative to filling out credit card forms and a simpler, faster way to get the virtual gold they need,” said James Warpole, BitPay’s Marketing and Communications Officer.