There is now another way to add games to your backlog as Valve and BitPay have enabled bitcoin payments on Steam.
According to Bitpay, payments to Valve using the crypto-currency have been rolled out in an attempt to give gamers (and developers) in emerging markets such China, India and South Africa another way to use the service.
Basically this means that if Valve wants to be more successful in these countries and give gamers the chance to get games at the famously low prices we see in Steam [insert season here] Sales, there need to be more options.
So if you have a bit of bitcoin burning a hole in your wallet you’re in luck, because I’m going to show you how to turn your crypto-currency into games, lots and lots of games.
First you’ll need to open up Steam on your PC, Mac or Linux-based computer. If you’re currently at work and at your desk, you can use the Steam website.
Once in Steam you’ll need to click on your current wallet balance to be directed to a page with your balance shown in detail. Alternatively, you can click your profile name and select Account Settings.
From here you’ll want to click + Add funds to your Steam Wallet, select the amount you wish to add (the minimum is R60 so you’ll need to have around 0.009349 bitcoin). From there you’ll be redirected to either the Review + Purchase screen, if you have payment information loaded on Steam already, or Payment Info screen if you haven’t.
For those that get redirected to Review + Purchase, you’ll need to click Payment Info to switch from your credit card to bitcoin.
Select Continue and you’ll be able to review your purchase before being directed to BitPay.
Once you land on the BitPay page you will be greeted with a QR code and a wallet address.
For those using BitX like we did, you may notice the “Approximate value” is greater than the amount you intend to buy; this is simply calculated to account for the volatility of the value of bitcoin.
After you’ve scanned the QR code with the bitcoin wallet of choice or copy and pasted the wallet address into your bitcoin wallet in your browser, confirm the payment, wait a few seconds for the credit amount to reflect on your Steam profile, and get to shopping.
Are there any benefits to using bitcoin rather than your credit card? Well, yes and no. Firstly, you don’t need to provide a billing address and thus you don’t have to use a card that is tied to a physical address.
Theoretically you could use Bitcoin to remain anonymous, but only to a point; the problem comes when you decide to fire up Dota 2 and connect to your nearest server and Bob from accounting recognises your voice, or you know, Steam tracks your IP address as part of its Privacy Agreement.[Image – CC BY/2.0 BTC Keychain]