Microsoft Will Continue to Support Bitcoin After All
Editor's note: This story was updated on March 15.
Microsoft has denied its own notice that it is scrapping bitcoin as a means of topping up users’ store accounts.
The company had put a short notice online saying users could “no longer redeem bitcoin” into their accounts. However, after the world noticed this statement, Microsoft said it was all a mistake, and it would continue to accept top-ups in the virtual currency.
“We continue to support bitcoin for adding money to your Microsoft account which can be used for purchasing content in the Windows and Xbox stores,” Microsoft said. “We apologize for inaccurate information that was inadvertently posted to a Microsoft site, which is currently being corrected.”
Indeed, the notice in question has now disappeared.
Microsoft introduced the bitcoin payment feature at the end of 2014, when the cryptocurrency was somewhat more hyped than it is now. Banks are still very excited about the underlying technology, but bitcoin itself is yet to really hit the mainstream.
Original story follows:
Back at the end of 2014, Microsoft started allowing many people to pay money into their accounts using bitcoins. However, it has now quietly removed the option.
“You can no longer redeem bitcoin into your Microsoft account. Existing balances in your account will still be available for purchases from Microsoft Store, but can’t be refunded.”
The change applies to both Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile, meaning people won’t be able to top up their balances with bitcoins in order to buy games, music and so on
It’s not clear why Microsoft has suddenly gone cool on Bitcoin, but it is worth noting that it never went all in -- the feature never saw a wide geographical rollout, and Microsoft never accepted bitcoin for its own products and services.
Bitcoin is still fairly volatile, but isn’t experiencing the wild fluctuations from a year or two back -- it currently trades at around $415 to the bitcoin. However, there is currently a lot of debate within the community about Bitcoin’s long-term technical viability, as the system is designed now.
The financial technology (fintech) scene is still very bullish on the blockchain, the transaction-ledger technology that underpins bitcoin. However, that doesn’t mean they’re keen on bitcoin itself.