Steam, a platform that offers instant access to games globally, is no longer accepting bitcoin in Russia, according to customers in the country.
There was nothing about the change in policy for Russia on the company’s website at the time of this report. Steam’s acceptance of bitcoin in April garnered major attention at the time.
A Steam user who goes by the name ‘Eliot the Cougar’ contacted CCN on Friday after he was no longer able to buy Steam products with bitcoin. Eliot the Cougar noted he was able to buy games on April 28 and May 14, but the option is no longer available. He said he contacted the company’s support group, but after two days he has not received any response about the matter.
Bitcoin is still being accepted in other regions, CCN confirmed by creating a user account in the U.S.
“I’m not sure what is going on, and I couldn’t find any explanation. I don’t see the option to pay with bitcoin in Steam anymore,” the Russian user told CCN.
An online discussion board called Pikabu contained a message that appeared to be from Steam confirming that it was no longer supporting bitcoin in Russia. The message said it was posted by ‘Technical Support Officer Tim’ on Thu, Jun 2nd, 2016 15:49.: The message reads:
Unfortunately, payment in the Steam store using Bitcoin will no longer be maintained on the territory of your region. We apologize for the inconvenience.
The Finance Ministry in Russia developed a proposal to officially ban bitcoin in Russia, CCN reported in March. The proposal by the Finance Ministry cites the Russian Central Bank to be the sole issuing authority to create what it sees as the only valid currency in the country, the Russian ruble. The bill is to be entered into the State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian parliament.
Steam was created by Valve Corporation, an American entertainment software and technology company. There is nothing about bitcoin posted on the Valve website.
Steamworks Development, a confidential website operated by Valve, announced Steam would start accepting bitcoin payments, according to a screenshot posted on Reddit about a month ago. The post noted that bitcoin is becoming increasingly popular. It said users are charged the local currency price on Steam and the payment processor converts the local currency into bitcoin based on a daily exchange rate. “At no time does Value receive or hold bitcoin,” it said.
Valve announced it was bringing bitcoin payment to Steam globally, according to a BitPay blog dated April 27, 2016 by Rory Desmond, director of business development for North America and APAC at BitPay. Desmond noted the Steam platform was used by more than 89 million gamers. He further noted Steam reaches 237 countries, with more than 9,000 different games including popular titles such as Counter-Strike, Global Offensive, Civilization V, XCOM 2, and Fallout 4.
Valve reached out to BitPay since they sought fast, global payments for Steam users in emerging markets, Desmond’s blog noted.
There are websites that sell Steam games that accept bitcoin, such as SteamBitShop.com, cheaperthansteam.com and steamgamesbtc.com.
Featured image from YouTube.