Microsoft recently announced that MS account users can now add the virtual currency to their accounts and start purchasing whatever good they want from the Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox Games/ Music/ Video stores. Currently, only US account users can benefit from this option.
Bitcoin support is provided by BitPay platform, a platform that it is also used by Newegg and PayPal. Eric Lockard, Microsoft representative, said in a blog post that this move could be a part of a long-term strategy to make more people accept BitCoin currency.
“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,”
Lockard also said.
However the integration of the virtual coin is restricted. Microsoft representatives say that their company would not accept it as a direct payment method, although there are plans for further integration in the near future.
Microsoft explained to its users that they could only add the virtual money to their MS accounts and buy digital products at “select Microsoft online stores”. Still, MS users can’t use BitCoin to directly buy Microsoft services and products for the moment.
On its commerce.microsoft.com Help section, Microsoft gives further details and instructions. Microsoft also warns the Bitcoin users that transactions are irreversible.
MS account users can transfer the coins out of their digital wallets into to Microsoft servers by clicking “Pay with Bitcoin” button (for PC users) or by scanning the QR code if the transaction is made by using a smartphone.
Users are not entitled to refunds after transactions are conducted. However if they believe that they have sent more than they should they are encouraged to contact Microsoft.
Customers can add a $1,000 maximum to their accounts in a day. But Microsoft accepts a $5,000 maximum worth of Bitcoins per account.
It is not the first time Microsoft tries to embrace Bitcoin and make it more popular. Early this year, Microsoft updated its search engine to allow users to set up Bitcoin price conversions. Back then, Bill Gates said that his non-profit organization wanted to develop digital payments technology.
In October, Mr Gates said that Bitcoin was “exciting”, but nevertheless a problematic solution to current financial distress.
Meanwhile, the value of Bitcoin skyrocketed over night by $20 per piece after Microsoft started to accept payments using this coin. The current value of one Bitcoin is about $360.