Microsoft restores bitcoin payment option
The discontinuance was a temporary measure to allow Microsoft to accept lower redeemable bitcoin amounts.
Tech giant Microsoft will again allow registered users to redeem bitcoin to deposit funds in their online store.
“We’ve restored bitcoin as a payment option in our store after working with our provider to ensure lower Bitcoin amounts would be redeemable by customers,” a Microsoft spokesperson told finder.com.
Microsoft reportedly recently ceased accepting bitcoin as a payment method to add funds to user accounts.
The American multinational company, which manufactures and sells computer software, hardware and other electronic services did not make any official announcement that its users could no longer utilize the popular cryptocurrency to add money to their accounts, however, CBS Boston and a raft of tech publications, including bitcoin.com and The Next Web, reported that Microsoft had stopped accepting bitcoin payments.
The discontinuance was only temporary. This isn’t the first time Microsoft has cancelled bitcoin payments. Users have had the ability to redeem bitcoin to deposit funds for purchases since 2014. In March 2016, Microsoft announced this was no longer possible but quickly retracted their statement, issuing an apology.
It’s important to note that when users employ bitcoin as a payment method, they can only use it to purchase games, movies, and apps in the Windows and Xbox stores. Microsoft online store purchases are not permitted. Additionally, money added to Microsoft accounts using bitcoin is not able to be refunded.
Microsoft has an online support page outlining how users can add money to their account with bitcoin.
Entertainment and gaming platform Steam announced in December last year that it would no longer support bitcoin as a payment method given the cryptocurrency’s unreliable value and inherently high processing fees.
Bitcoin’s value has been subject to monumental swings in recent months, rising to nearly $20,000 and back down to below $13,000 in just a few days. The currency is currently valued at $15,000, according to coindesk.
The cryptocurrency market is an intensely volatile sector. CoinMarketCap, an online source for cryptocurrency market capitalization figures and price movements, recently and unexpectedly removed South Korean exchanges valuations from its reported averages, causing a sharp decline in prices over a 24 hour period.
Cryptocurrency exchange Binance lifted its temporary ban on new user accounts this week after experiencing a recent surge in popularity. However, only a limited number of new registrations will be permitted each day.
Global messaging startup Telegram plans to launch its own unique blockchain platform and cryptocurrency.
CBOE, the largest US options exchange, and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange both launched bitcoin futures trading in early December, offering investors the chance to bet on whether value will rise or fall over time.
Long-term future pricing has been heralded by some investors as a considerable vote of confidence for virtual currencies, potentially paving the way for less market volatility and further increased investment over time.