Gamers may soon be able to buy their favorite video games with bitcoin, the world’s most popular and valuable cryptocurrency, thanks to a partnership between the digital distribution platform Steam and the payment processor BitPay.

Although neither Steam nor its developer Valve has commented on this development, gamers Tuesday began seeing the option to pay with bitcoin appear when adding credit to their accounts. However, BitPay has published a blog post on the agreement between the parties with Rory Desmond, the company’s head of business development in North America and the Asia-Pacific region, saying it was Valve that contacted his firm about the possibility of facilitating the new payment method.

“They were looking for a fast, international payment method for Steam users in emerging gaming markets in countries like India, China and Brazil,” Desmond said. While Valve hasn’t released a statement about the integration of bitcoin, Steam users all around the world have reported seeing the option to pay using the cryptocurrency on their systems.

Bitcoin On Steam Steam users can now pay for video games with bitcoin. Photo: Steam/Valve

To pay with bitcoin, users first need to choose the “Bitcoin” option on their payment screens when adding credit to their accounts. They then will be redirected to BitPay’s site, which will display the amount of bitcoin required based on the exchange rate at that time and a quick response (QR) code that users can scan with their smartphones.

Obviously, bitcoin users need bitcoin wallets on their smartphones with the required amount of bitcoin. Once they scan their QR codes, their payments to Steam should be carried out virtually instantaneously. 

Steam allows developers to easily publish their games with digital rights management, while offering multiplayer features and social networking. Valve said last year the platform had 125 million active users and more than 9,000 games available for those with Linux, Mac and Windows operating systems.

Bitcoin’s price surged to an 18-month high this week, but it has since fallen back close to the levels where it has been the past month, a period of comparative calm for the cryptocurrency whose value has fluctuated wildly over the years.

The decentralized nature of bitcoin is one of the factors that attracted Valve to the currency, according to Desmond. “As the internet’s universal currency, bitcoin will allow Steam to easily reach gamers in every market around the world — without the high fees or the risk of chargeback fraud that come with card payments.”