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Microsoft makes a u-turn on Bitcoin payments

Microsoft announced back in November 2014 that it had struck a deal with Bitpay, which would enable the Redmond company to accept Bitcoin in the Windows Store.

Eric Lockard, corporate vice president of Universal Store at Microsoft said at the time: “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.”

However, it appears that Eric Lockard may have misjudged the situation, as over the weekend Microsoft popped up a message to announce a revised position, “Microsoft Store doesn't accept Bitcoin.”

The fact that Bitpay is still operating and still offers a service that accepts and banks Bitcoins would make a fallout between Bitpay and Microsoft unlikely. What is more likely is that Microsoft’s change of heart is due to the limited demand for Bitcoin as popular acceptance has not grown much beyond those “early enthusiasts” Lockard mentioned. Whatever the actual reason it would appear the Microsoft’s retail adventure with Bitcoin is over, or at least for just now.

Bitcoin in the meantime is going through some troubled times with the currency looking likely to be banned in Russia – punished with a jail sentence for anyone caught issuing it. Microsoft though has not broken off all links with Bitcoin as it still offers a Blockchain-as-a-Service on Azure.

Image source: Shutterstock/Julia Tsokur