Steam, the largest digital video game distributor for PC gaming, recently announced that they will no longer accept payments in Bitcoin. They cited issues with fees being too high and the coin’s value being too unsteady.
This begs the question: What cryptocurrencies *are* suitable for digital transactions? It’s possible that more digital retailers will want to accept cryptocurrency for their goods and services in the future. If Bitcoin is not good for this use case, what cryptocurrency is?
In this article, I’ll discuss five cryptocurrencies that I think Steam, as well as other companies, could potentially use to replace Bitcoin.
(1) Bitcoin Cash
Bitcoin Cash also referred to as “BCash,” is a popular fork of Bitcoin. This token is very similar to the original Bitcoin but allows for more transactions per second by offering a larger block size (data storage). As quicker transactions are completed with lower fees, Steam could consider BCash as an alternative.
With a valuation of more than $1,000 per token and a vocal minority of Bitcoin influencers working on its development, there are reasons to be optimistic about Bitcoin Cash. I believe that it has potential to serve as a scalable long-term solution for digital retailers who want to accept cryptocurrency.
Another popular cryptocurrency alternative to Bitcoin is Litecoin. This cryptocurrency has stayed near the top of the crypto market capitalization chart ever since its inclusion in the Coinbase app.
Coinbase, a centralized cryptocurrency wallet provider, recently hit #1 on Apple’s popularity list. This leading app only offers wallets for three cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin), offering a direct fiat gateway for anybody with an account.
There is less controversy surrounding LTC than Bitcoin due to LTC’s lack of hard forks. This cryptocurrency seems like a viable alternative to complete Steam payments.
Despite having similar names, Steem and Steam are not related to each other. Awkward naming issues notwithstanding, Steem offers fast and affordable cryptocurrency transactions.
Built from the ground up by legendary cryptocurrency developer Dan Larimer (also famous for BitShares and EOS), Steem offers consistent 3-second transactions with no fees. It stands in the top three of most active blockchains by the number of transactions and is still well below its maximum transaction capacity.
If Steam wants an altcoin that can reliably provide fast transactions, Steem might be worth considering.
(Full Disclosure: the author is currently holding 1,500 Steem tokens)
Some people criticize Bitcoin for its overly centralized development process. DeCred is an alternative blockchain that aims to recreate the core functions of Bitcoin with a more decentralized governance system.
By using a hybrid Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake mining system, more members of the community are able to influence the cryptocurrency’s development. This could give DeCred a faster and more effective process for solving blockchain performance problems.
Steam could access a lot of the benefits of Bitcoin by using DeCred. The big question is if DeCred will maintain its popularity and development for the coming years since it doesn’t have as large a community as the first three tokens on this list.
TRON is a blockchain project founded by entrepreneurial wunderkind Justin Sun. Justin is the protégé of Alibaba founder Jack Ma and previously built a popular photo-sharing app.
The stated goal for TRON is to create an uncensored ecosystem where anybody can contribute gaming content and be rewarded fairly for their work. While the idea is bold, it’s important to remember that TRON is very early in its development right now.
Steam could look to TRON as a gaming-focused cryptocurrency that offers fast and cheap transactions.
Cryptocurrency Payments Are Evolving
Steam is no longer accepting Bitcoin, but that doesn’t have to be the end of the story. If they are willing to accept other cryptocurrencies as payment for their games, they may be able to unlock additional revenue and include more people in their community. Personally, I would love to see them accept any of the five tokens from this article. Here’s hoping that Steam will accept cryptocurrency again in the near future!