It seems Microsoft has had a change of heart with Bitcoins, making it known the digital currency will no longer be accepted for purchases at its store for Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile.
Interestingly, there is no official statement to this effect so far, nor is there any explanation given to explain the move. Instead, the Windows maker has chosen to leave it to an updated FAQs to let the world know of its decision with Bitcoins.
“Microsoft Store doesn’t accept Bitcoin. 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,” the update specified. The above applies to Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile.
The above ruling also lacks clarity in that it is not yet known if it applies to current Xbox users as it’s being reported that they can still add bitcoin to their Xbox accounts.
This also marks a complete U-turn for Microsoft after having extended full support for the digital currency back in 2014.
So as things stand right now, while existing bitcoin reserves are still allowed for making fresh purchases from the Microsoft Store, no new Bitcoin deposits will be entertained. Similarly, no Bitcoin refunds will be entertained either.
While Microsoft is yet to explain as to what exactly prompted them to abruptly end their support for Bitcoins, experts speculate it could have something to do with the block size of the currency.
According to Softpedia, there is the other school of thought as per which the extremely limited transactions performed using Bitcoins might have led the currency going out of favor with Microsoft.
Bitcoin had been one of the most popular forms of digital currency though it definitely lost its sheen lately. Much of it has to do with the way Bitcoin has gone about dealing with topics such as encryption and user’s privacy. Unfortunately, Bitcoin’s commitment to privacy is not making it too popular in the corridors of power in the US where it is being projected to be against the security interests of the US.
Needless to say, privacy and encryption have acquired added dimension in recent times thanks to oft-quoted reports of government-backed mass-scale surveillance schemes as well as the recent standoff between the FBI and Apple.