Microsoft will no longer accept bitcoin as a form of payment in the Windows 10 and Windows Mobile stores. The official announcement says: “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.” That means the end of Microsoft’s cooperation with the cryptocurrency that lasted for 15 months.
Microsoft added bitcoin as a payment option to purchase apps, games, and other digital content from the Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox Games, Xbox Music, and Xbox Video stores in December 2014.
This turned out to be a result of a partial integration with bitcoin processor BitPay, a Georgia-based bitcoin processor founded in 2011 by Antonio Gallippi and Stephen Pair. Microsoft has become the world’s largest company to accept Bitcoin payments – the company had $86.8 billion in annual revenue and a market cap of more than $380 Billion.
The reason why Microsoft decided to turn down bitcoin still remains rather unclear. It hasn’t explained everything openly so we have a good scope to speculate. There are different versions – it may be because of the block size or bitcoin not being so mainstream. However, the last version is purely disproved by the company itself.
In the very beginning of work with bitcoin, Eric Lockard, corporate vice president of Universal Store, said: “For us, this is about giving people options and helping them do more on their devices and in the cloud. 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.”
Thus, software giant made it rather clear that bitcoin being not so widely adopted isn’t a problem at all.
According to Softpedia, the most likely reason can be a small amount of bitcoin transactions performed in the store. Thus, Microsoft must have seen no sense in keeping working with bitcoin. The opinion is rather debatable taking into consideration the amount of venture capital invested into Bitcoin startups in 2015.
Microsoft takes away bitcoin payments carefully not to cause any inconvenience to its customers. You shouldn’t worry about unused bitcoins credited to your Microsoft account. You won’t lose them. Microsoft has stopped accepting new bitcoin payments and won’t refund your remaining balance. However you are free to use bitcoins from your account to make purchases on the store.