Following Valve’s footsteps, it was reported on Monday that Microsoft has stopped accepting bitcoin payments. While the tech company has not released an official statement regarding this potential change, a Bleeping Computer article claimed that it has halted Bitcoin payments because of the volatility of cryptocurrency.
A member of Microsoft’s Accounts and Billing team subsequently told CCN that they had halted bitcoin payments due to “multiple issues we are receiving with regards to it.” This was further backed up by multiple reddit users who were no longer able to see a bitcoin payment option when they tried to checkout using the cryptocurrency.
The price of bitcoin has fluctuated dramatically over the past couple of months and the transaction fees to make purchases with the cryptocurrency have seen a massive uptick. These two factors make small transactions almost impossible.
By the time a payment goes through the price of bitcoin could dip, causing companies to lose money from the transaction. Users may also have to make repeated payments to complete the transactions, each time incurring a new fee that can easily run to more than $20.
These are the reasons why Valve decided to stop accepting bitcoin payments on their online game marketplace Steam in December. And it’s not all that farfetched to see why Microsoft would want to do the same.
This also isn’t the first time Microsoft has pumped the brakes on bitcoin transactions. In 2016 the company stopped accepting bitcoin payments made on the Windows 10 store for a period of time. This move was later reversed, so it’s possible Microsoft could again restore bitcoin transactions, assuming the cryptocurrency’s months-long volatility can somehow be brought under control.
At the time of writing, the Microsoft support page still has an active page detailing how to use bitcoin to make online payments on the site. Until the company issues an announcement it is difficult to say if this is a repeat of 2016 or an official change.