Microsoft Corporation, the multinational technology company headquartered in Washington, has announced that the firm will continue to accept Bitcoin payments regardless of the controversy around Ethereum and Microsoft Azure.
“We continue to support Bitcoin for adding money to your Microsoft Account which can be used for purchasing content in the Windows and Xbox stores. We apologize for inaccurate information that was inadvertently posted to a Microsoft site, which is currently being corrected,” stated a Microsoft spokesperson.
On March 13, Microsoft removed its support for Bitcoin payments in the Windows 10 store, disallowing users from purchasing Microsoft Windows 10 products using bitcoin. During the time, Microsoft’s FAQ page read, “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.”
Microsoft’s Bitcoin integration works as a simple top-up system commonly used by gaming and e-commerce platforms. Users can deposit bitcoin to Microsoft and redeem Microsoft balance to purchase items on its e-commerce store. The silent removal of Bitcoin support from Microsoft was discovered by users after they struggled to redeem Microsoft balance using Bitcoin through BitPay.
The falsified statement from the Microsoft team quickly gained traction across various Bitcoin forums and online communities, most popularly Reddit, where users expressed their disappointment towards the decision of Microsoft.
Microsoft Azure May Focus on Ethereum
Many users believed that Microsoft removed their support for Bitcoin because of its low volumes and purchase rates on its e-commerce store. However, this concern was disregarded after forum members shared an announcement from Microsoft Universal Store vice president Eric Lockard in 2014.
“For us, this is about giving people options and helping them do more on their devices and in the cloud,” explained Lockard. “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,” he added.
Many Bitcoin and Ethereum communities also believed that the Microsoft team could have removed their support for Bitcoin due to Microsoft Azure’s focus on the development and distribution of Ethereum-based cloud services for enterprise-level clients and customers. Some communities believed that the removal of Bitcoin support was a part of their plan to push through with their Ethereum Blockchain as a Service on Azure.