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Microsoft Restores Bitcoin Payments

Patrick Smith | Jan 10, 2018 | 04:00

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Microsoft Restores Bitcoin Payments

Patrick Smith | Jan 10, 2018 | 04:00


Tech giant Microsoft has resumed accepting Bitcoin as payment for media on their Windows and Xbox stores.


Microsoft Resumes Accepting Bitcoin as Quickly as It Stops

Microsoft will allow consumers to redeem Bitcoin to deposit funds in exchange for content once again. The restoration comes shortly after the company discreetly suspended the form of payment amid rising transaction fees and concerns over the currency’s volatility.

Microsoft first began accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment in 2014, but this isn’t the first time they’ve decided to stop. Similar incidents occurred in 2015, as well as 2016, before happening once more this week. Microsoft cited concerns for the similar volatile conditions of Bitcoin they had in the past when justifying their position this week.

When Bitcoin is used as the payment method, Microsoft only allows users to access games, movies, and apps on the Windows and Xbox stores. Moreover, money added to Microsoft accounts using Bitcoin cannot be refunded.

Restoration of the service was intended to ensure that lower Bitcoin amounts would be redeemable by customers, according to a representative from Microsoft.

The Bitcoin network is currently experiencing about four transactions per second, causing transaction fees to soar uncontrollably and inhibiting day-to-day transactions. Bitcoin users can determine the priority their transaction is confirmed with by opting to pay a fee. The higher the fee, the more likely it is to be accepted by miners and be added to the next block.

With more people investing in Bitcoin, it has created competition for the space available in each block and, consequently, has caused a rise in transaction fees. This forces users to choose between exorbitant fees or waiting for days on end to have a simple transaction confirmed.

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Microsoft Not the Only One to Refuse Bitcoin

In December, video game company Valve announced that it would no longer accept Bitcoin as payment on their distribution service, Steam. Steam shared concerns with Microsoft over impacts on revenue involving Bitcoin’s “unstable” state.

The leading factors of the decision included rising transaction fees and the increasing length of time to confirm transactions. The wait for confirmations coupled with Bitcoin’s extreme fluctuations in price causes an inconsistency in the bill and payment, meaning the user may be entitled to a refund or owe more money. Subsequently, this produces a need for more transaction fees in either circumstance and only makes for an unreasonably high cost for a video game.

Are you excited Microsoft is accepting Bitcoin again? Do you think transaction fees will continue to cause problems for Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Pexels. Pixabay, and Bitcoinist archives.


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