Microsoft Puts the Brakes on Bitcoin Payments

By
Samburaj Das @sambdas
March 14, 2016

Software and hardware giant Microsoft is no longer accepting Bitcoin payments made on the Windows 10 store. The move comes a year after the corporation began accepting Bitcoin via BitPay. Notably, the move hasn’t affected users purchasing credit via Bitcoin on to their Microsoft Xbox accounts.

In a new ‘how-to’/FAQ post, the Redmond-based giant has announced that the Microsoft Store – a platform which sees all of Microsoft’s flagship software including Windows and Office, as well as its line of hardware products – is no longer accepting Bitcoin.

The post simply reads:

You can no longer redeem Bitcoin into your Microsoft account. Existing balances in your account will still be available for purchases from the Microsoft store, but can’t be refunded.

The lack of Bitcoin-as-a-payment support applies to content and products sold on the Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile stores.

The lack of bitcoin support does not affect the Xbox marketplace, a fact confirmed by bitcoin users on the gaming platform. Notably, the ‘how-to’ post detailing the process to add money in to a user’s Microsoft account with Bitcoin is still active, showing that Microsoft hasn’t entirely killed bitcoin support via third-party payment processor BitPay.

The feature to add funds to a user’s account with bitcoin was limited to customers in the United States.

Microsoft’s decision to originally accept Bitcoin via BitPay was met with much fanfare when announced in December 2014. The software-maker joined the ranks of other large companies like Dell, Newegg, TigerDirect, among others, to begin accepting bitcoin.

At the time, vice president of Microsoft Universal Store, Eric Lockhard stated:

The use of digital currencies such as bitcoin, while not yet mainstream, is growing beyond the early enthusiasts. We expect this growth to continue, and allowing people to use bitcoin to purchase our products and services now allows us to be at the front edge of that trend.

It is unclear as to why Microsoft has pulled the plug on accepting bitcoin. It is possible that the payment method wasn’t used by a sizable portion of users which wouldn’t come as a surprise as Microsoft restricted bitcoin payments to US residents alone. It’s also possible that Microsoft simply did not want to deal with possible customer complaints of delayed transactions, a scenario which it would have little control over.

A representative for Microsoft wasn’t available for comment immediately, at the time of publishing.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Last modified (UTC): March 14, 2016 15:22

Tags: microsoft
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