Last night, many people noticed that Microsoft had quietly removed the Bitcoin payments option from the Windows 10 and Windows Mobile stores—speculation has gone far and wide as to exactly why that happened. After the news broke, Microsoft quickly went to the press with an official statement saying the whole thing was a mistake.
“We continue to support Bitcoin for adding money to your Microsoft Account which can be used for purchasing content in the Windows and Xbox stores,” a spokesperson for the company said to Softpedia. ”We apologize for inaccurate information that was inadvertently posted to a Microsoft site, which is currently being corrected.”
According to the software giant Bitcoin payments are still supported and customers can still use the cryptocurrency for new deposits in the Windows Store.
All appears normal, just a mistake
When the option to pay with Bitcoin disappeared from the Windows Store speculation engines everywhere revved up. Ideas surfaced from the suggestion that it was removed because Bitcoin is just not popular enough–most companies who accept bitcoins show that less than 1 percent of all sales occur using the digital currency—or perhaps the company was just backing out for political reasons.
Microsoft climbed on board with Bitcoin in late 2014 when the company began accepting the currency for apps, games and other digital content for Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox.
When the removal appeared many thought it was a strange move by the company. Microsoft has not appeared hostile to Bitcoin in the past 15 months and in fact has been working towards embracing more technologies related to Bitcoin over the past year.
The year of 2015 showed continuing venture capital interest in Bitcoin startups as well as the production of the company’s cloud-based Blockchain-as-a-Service hosted on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. While merchant adoption flatted out over most of last year, companies looking to capitalize on the infrastructure that runs Bitcoin (the blockchain) has become the moniker for 2016 “Year of the Blockchain.”