Microsoft is going to incorporate the digital currency support in Excel for both desktop and mobile versions. Bitcoin integration is part of a broader update which is set to be released later this year.
Microsoft first announced its plans to add bitcoin support to Excel in April 2016. The process, however, took longer than anticipated. As the company noted at the time, users would be able to use Excel to analyze cryptocurrency data via native bitcoin formatting support.
The news was confirmed by Martin Butler, Account Executive of Globals at Microsoft. “In 2017, Excel will be able to recognize, format, calculate and analyze numbers expressed in Bitcoin currency. The new feature will be available for Excel running under Windows 10, Android, Mac OS and iOS, and will include Excel Mobile versions as well,” he wrote in a LinkedIn post.
Butler has also unveiled a number of other features under development. They include new data gathering capabilities for Excel, OneNote improvements for classroom and collaboration, and conditional access policies for locations and apps.
Furthermore, Microsoft will add real-time transcription and translation of Skype Meeting Broadcast, an app that allows companies to broadcast meetings to a big audience. The option will enable enterprises using the app to automatically share the transcript from a meeting. The transcripts can be translated into English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, and German.
The company understands the popularity of bitcoin, which continues to demonstrate an upward trend started few months ago. For the first time since December 2013, the digital currency exceeded $1,000 mark and is currently trading at $1094.85, according to Coinmarketcap.
The surge of value is mainly attributed to the growing demand from such countries as Venezuela and India, where economic uncertainty urges people to turn to virtual money. Moreover, huge bitcoin trading volumes are also observed in China, where people use digital currency to avoid strict government’s control.
However, as TechnologyReview reported, the latest price upturn only highlights the problems of digital currency. The majority control of the virtual currency now belongs to Chinese companies, what is unwelcome for users outside of the country. Such centralization could not only raise fears of governmental control, but could compromise further development of bitcoin.
FinancialTimes, meanwhile, compares bitcoin to pyramid schemes, which generally require a continual influx of converts to drive its value. The amount of digital currency transactions, FT wrote, still rounds to zero if compared to world’s other currencies. The Bank for International Settlements estimated that the daily amount traded last year for the world’s currencies ranged between $4.4 trillion in dollars and $1 billion for the 37th most actively traded currency, the Bulgarian lev.
“On the CIA figures, the value of bitcoins hashed into existence is similar to the broad money total for Uzbekistani soms. With apologies to Tashkent, the value of soms and bitcoins, and the number of people for whom they are relevant pieces of information in the world of modern finance, both round to zero,” FT wrote.