Microsoft’s Windows 10 and Windows Mobile stores no longer accept Bitcoin as a form of payment; users can no longer supply more Bitcoins or get a refund.
The tech giant did not explain the reasons why it decided to drop Bitcoin as a valid payment option – it only provided a brief statement on an updated FAQ page.
“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 said.
This means that the only way to use the cryptocurrency on Microsoft’s stores is by using an existing Bitcoin balance – once that runs out Bitcoin users will have to switch to another method of payment.
Bitcoin was added a payment option in December 2014 for Microsoft’s Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox Games, Xbox Music, and Xbox Video stores.
It remains unclear why Microsoft has decided to drop Bitcoin as a payment option.
When the company first started supporting bitcoin as a form of payment, Eric Lockard, corporate vice president of Universal Store at Microsoft, said:
“For us, this is about giving people options and helping them do more on their devices and in the cloud.
“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.”
Microsoft founder Bill Gates said in October 2014 that he found Bitcoin “exciting” and loved it because it was “cheap”. In an interview he said “Bitcoin is exciting because it shows how cheap it can be. Bitcoin is better than currency in that you don’t have to be physically in the same place. And of course for large transactions currency can get pretty inconvenient.”
However, Microsoft has since had a change of heart with the digital currency.
Perhaps the company didn’t see enough of its users making purchases with the cryptocurrency to justify its support.