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Microsoft supports Bitcoin after all

Yesterday, all hell broke loose when it was uncovered that Microsoft stopped supporting the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Today, however, the company said the information was 'inaccurate', and that it will keep on supporting Bitcoin.

In a written statement to TechCrunch, Microsoft confirmed that Bitcoin will still be usable in its online stores:

“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.”

So what happened?

Yesterday it was uncovered that Microsoft silently dropped the support for Bitcoin. That wouldn’t be such a big deal, if the original support wasn’t announced with much fanfare.

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.”

In a FAQ note for customers, Microsoft yesterday said: “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.”

These are tough times for Bitcoin, as it’s just about to get banned in Russia, with a jail sentence for anyone caught using the cryptocurrency. Besides its stores, Microsoft is still offering Blockchain-as-a-Service on Azure.