Microsoft Backs Away From Bitcoin

A Bitcoin sign is seen in a window in Toronto
A Bitcoin sign is seen in a window in Toronto, May 8, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch (CANADA - Tags: BUSINESS LOGO) - RTR3OCTS
Photograph by Mark Blinch — Reuters

Note: Microsoft has now recanted the notice that is the subject of this article, saying it was inaccurate and shouldn’t have been posted to its site.

Back at the end of 2014, Microsoft(MSFT) started allowing many people to pay money into their accounts using bitcoins. However, it has now quietly removed the option.

As Softpedia noted, Microsoft has put out a brief notice online, reading:

“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.”

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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.

For more on bitcoin watch our video.

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.

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