Video game streaming platform Twitch has removed the option to make payments in Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. The move by the Amazon-owned firm was flagged by Reddit users over the weekend.
Twitch appears to have first started accepting cryptocurrency payments in January of last year. Given that Twitch targets a predominantly young and digitally active audience, this was seen as being an excellent chance for wider adoption of cryptocurrencies.
But this avenue for adoption is – at least for now – closed. Finance Magnates reached out to Twitch for comment on this article but, at the time of publication, no response was forthcoming.
Though it may not seem like a big deal to our non-gaming readership, Twitch is a huge platform.
Top earners on the site can make millions of dollars a year through ads, different subscription models and affiliate marketing. Popular users can regularly attract tens of thousands of live viewers to their streams and, over time, millions of views on their videos.
Thus, for cryptocurrency fanboys, Twitch’s removal of Bitcoin as a payment option will come as a real blow.
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First Steam, now Twitch
The streaming site is not, however, the first gaming-oriented company to remove cryptocurrency as a payment option.
Way back in December of 2017, Steam, a programme which allows users to download and play video games, announced that it would be scrapping its bitcoin payments service. The company cited price volatility, slow payment processing, and expensive transaction fees to justify its decision.
After ditching cryptocurrency payments, Steam did say it was open to bringing them back in the future but, as of yet, that has not happened.
Both Steam and Twitch’s decisions highlight problems that Bitcoin users, when making payments with the cryptocurrency, may struggle to overcome. Slow and costly payments make the cryptocurrency an inferior solution to old fashioned card payments.
In the case of Twitch, where many people want to make regular subscription payments, Bitcoin is almost useless. Though there are ways of setting up a regular payment with the cryptocurrency, it is an irksome one.
If cryptocurrency users and companies want to start using their digital assets as a means of payment, they will need to overcome those problems, otherwise, no company is, in the long run, going to be accepting their funds.