Microsoft adds Bitcoin as payment option for Xbox, Windows Phone stores

Bitcoin on a circuit board

Bitcoin on a circuit board

Microsoft users can now buy and download apps, games, movies, TV shows, and music at the Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox Games, Video, and Music stores using Bitcoin.

As reported by CoinDesk, computer giant is now accepting popular cryptocurrency as payment option for its online platforms’ gift cards.

The Redmond-based giant joins the ranks of other US major tech companies such as Dell, Dish Network, Expedia, and Overstock. Locally, one of South Africa’s largest ecommerce players — along with 30 000 or so other online merchants — also accept this digital currency as payment option.

Perhaps this move would help increase the popularity of both Windows Phone and Windows Store — both of which have struggled in the last few years, and the latter holding only 2.9% of the market share.

Last year December, ecommerce giant Overstock managed to surpass US$1-million in Bitcoin sales in less than four months after the implementation. Given Microsoft’s massive digital offering, are we going to a similar trend this December?

Strangely, this service is only available to US-based customers, who also won’t be able to make direct purchases with Bitcoin but instead use it to buy digital gift cards.

Also, “You can only use Bitcoin to add money to your Microsoft account and then purchase digital goods at select Microsoft online stores,” the Billing Help page stipulates — meaning that you can only use the digital currency to top-up your gift cards.

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This is an incredible milestone for Bitcoin’s mainstream recognition, seeing that Microsoft is the fifth most valuable brand in the world. Now, we’re just waiting on Apple and Coca-Cola.

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