Another Blow for Bitcoin as Microsoft Store Drops Support

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / OstillMicrosoft may be a major player in blockchain but it doesn’t seem to care much about bitcoin.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant dropped support for bitcoin in its online store today, posting the following notice:

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.

This is another black mark for the embattled digital currency, which has seen support dry up as blockchain steals hearts and headlines in financial services and just about everywhere else.

On Reddit, bitcoin users voiced anger and consternation. “Who is next? Dell? TigerDirect? People are right to be concerned that a large corporation stopped accepting it.” Other argued Microsoft support was never material to the cryptocurrency, but it is hard to spin the news as being a good sign for bitcoin, especially given Microsoft’s deepening investment in blockchain technology. (Other users noted bitcoin payments still work for XBOX, meaning the issue may be limited to the Microsoft Store.)

This news follows the hollowing out of Microsoft’s Wallet app, which has become a “shell,” according to a recent app review. Intended as Microsoft’s in-house mobile payments option for Windows phones, the app has dropped payment functionality following the Summer 2015 release of Windows 10, and now simply redirects users to the app store upon opening.

A one-star review complains:

What; is this just a portal into the Windows Store now? I have a Windows Phone for a reason but when they remove basic things like paying for something with your phone by swiping a scanner, things get a little tense. I’m quite sick of the wait, I might just switch to Android because of this…Windows 10 is becoming a featureless gimmick of an OS. Please, for the love of God and all that is holy, bring back NFC pay, rewards, and so on. In short: I WANT TO BE ABLE TO PAY FOR STUFF AT THE CASH REGISTER USING MY PHONE!

It is not clear what payment plans Microsoft has in mind for its phones, but it neither seems Wallet nor bitcoin will not be part of it.

Again from Reddit: “There’s nothing quiet about Microsoft dropping support for bitcoin. This is a huge loss, anyone that says otherwise doesn’t see what is happening.”

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