The world's largest digital sales service Steam this week stopped taking bitcoins as payment and that made some analytics doubt the cryptocurrency future. It is noteworthy that this happened on the same day when one of the bitcoin exchangers exchanged another large theft of digital "cryptonyms" for a total of about $ 62 million, followed by a rapid increase in the rate of bitcoin. Thus, in 2017, despite a significant rise in price of bitcoin, as a digital currency, it loses its positions.
Valve, which owns the Steam service, said on Wednesday, December 6 that it refuses to accept bitcoins because of the unstable exchange rate for real money and the continuous increase in the cost of serving bitcoin transactions. Valve's refusal to use bitcoins is a notable event, as Steam unites more than 100 million gamers around the world, including miners who earn cryptocurrencies.
According to Valve, over the past few months, the volatility of bitcoins has increased significantly, and the transaction processing price soared from $ 0.2 in 2016 to $ 20 at the present time. As a result, users buying a game can spend much more than they expected.
Bitcoin is gradually losing appeal as a direct payment instrument. The agiotage, which raised the cost of bitcoins, caused the increase in the number of miners, a decrease in the processing speed of transactions and a rise in the cost of processing payments. However, the most serious problem is the lack of reliable cyber defense tools.
The reliability of cryptocurrency should be its main advantage. But in the case of bitcoin and most other cryptocurrencies, exchangers become the weak point, where these cryptocurrencies are bought and sold for real money. And cases of bitcoin robberies influence much on cryptocurrency future.
On Wednesday, December 6, an accident occurred on the Korean exchange NiceHash, which simply "zeroed" the wallets of many users. NiceHash does not disclose the details, but according to unconfirmed reports, users have disappeared 4736.42 bitcoins worth $ 62 million. It is interesting that on the same day after the incident, bitcoin went up by $ 1,000 to $ 15 thousand. Probably, scammers were able to get a significant benefit from the sale of stolen bitcoins .
Such robbery of bitcoins on the exchanger is not the first time. The largest was in 2014, when it was stolen 850 thousand bitcoins for $ 700 million from the Japanese exchanger Mt Gox. After that, the exchanger went bankrupt, an investigation began with the participation of the FBI, but eventually found only 200 thousand bitcoins, the rest sum disappeared. Probably, they were quickly sold and now cost more than $ 2 billion. In general, the head of Mt Gox is now in prison, and the owners of the stolen and resold bitcoins lost their assets.
With traditional assets, such as shares, such situation is impossible, but the unregulated market of cryptocurrency is anonymous and lives by its own rules. The rapid growth in the cost of bitcoin attracts scammers who, almost certainly, will continue to steal cryptocurrencies quite successfully, bought for real money. Along with the refusal of leading companies to accept payments by bitcoins, this turns the cryptocurrencies into a speculative resource with high risks.
Earlier, supporters of bitcoin believed in thecryptocurrency futureas a payment instrument. However, this is impossible, as long as there are high transaction costs and the possibility of a momentary irretrievable loss of any amount of cryptocurrency.