Microsoft BEATS Apple, Google ... to accepting limited Bitcoin payments
Oh yeah, and you can’t actually pay for anything. Oh well.
Microsoft has quietly added Bitcoin as a payment method for digital content - games and music - thanks to a deal with Bitpay that allows customers to use the cryptocurrency to add money to their MS account.
Trouble is, the synthetic dosh still can't be used to pay for physical goods directly, and initially at least, it's Bitcoin holders who seem to be benefiting, with a single Bitcoin soaring $20 overight to $360 on the back of the Microsoft agreement.
Whether Microsoft (one of the first big tech companies to embrace the currency, ahead of Apple and Google) will also see a financial benefit is too early to tell, it certainly can't hurt.
Bill Gates revealed in October his interest in digital payments in a Reddit Ask Me Anything, saying it made the transfr of money cheap and easy.
"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," said
"The customers we're talking about aren't trying to be anonymous. You know they're willing to be known so the Bitcoin technology is key and you could add to it or you could build a similar technology where there's enough attribution that people feel comfortable that this is nothing to do with terrorism or any type of money laundering,"
Bitcoin acceptance is currently limited to Microsoft's American users, so customers in Britain have to stick to more traditional payment methods for now.
Oh yeah, and users across the pond also aren't allowed to add more than 100 Bitcoins at a time.
So Microsoft dabbles in Bitcoin, and look at what happens. Holders must be praying for a full-on commitment, and then hope that Apple and Google gets in the the game too. ®