Valve is a company that's known for innovating. After all, they were the first company to get PC gamers to welcome DRM with open arms. They also pioneered the idea of letting you sell collectable hats. Well, if rumors are to be believed, they might soon change the way you pay for video games.
No, you won't be able to trade “favors” for the next must-have game. Instead, it would seem that Valve is looking at Bitcoin as an alternative for the good old US dollar. Bitcoin has been around for a while, and it's still being adopted at a rather slow pace. However, I'm not currently aware of any major outlet where I can directly pay in Bitcoin, and receive a game. So Valve jumping on board might help adoption, in a small way.
The rumor comes from a leak of Steam's translation project. The leak has a lot of text for Bitcoin transactions, as well as specifically citing BitPay as the company providing the Bitcoin payment processing. You can see a screenshot that was allegedly taken from the translation project below.
If the leak is true, then this will be great news for people who love cryptocurrencies. Valve is one of the biggest sources of PC games, and does a ton of business every year. Just imagine a future where you can trade a virtual hat from a game for virtual money, which you can use to buy another game.
Valve's Gabe Newell actually talked about cryptocurrencies a little while back, citing the fluctuating price as being one thing holding them back. Since they would be using a service such as BitPay, they wouldn't necessarily have to worry about the price of Bitcoin fluctuating, as they would just be paid in USD. I suppose it's only a matter of time before we find out if this really is something Valve is working on.