Microsoft reverses course, says 'no thanks' to Bitcoin payments

The company's change in policy comes after accepting the cryptocurrency to pay for goods on the Windows Store for over a year.


A Bitcoin sits on top of a $5 bill

Credit: Zach Copley

Bitcoin’s day in the sun at Microsoft appears to be over, at least for now. According to a report on Softpedia published Friday, the purveyor of all things Windows has decided to stop taking the cryptocurrency after accepting it as a form of payment on the WIndows Store since late 2014.

Sure enough, Microsoft published a short help doc to its website that confirms the chance in policy. 

The reasoning behind the change isn’t exactly clear—Microsoft has yet to openly explain why it will no longer accept Bitcoin—but for its part, Softpedia speculates that it just didn’t catch on as a way to pay for goods on the Windows Store, and that “Microsoft had no reason to continue keeping it as a supported digital currency.” 

The story behind the story: Microsoft first announced that it would accept Bitcoin in the U.S. Windows Store back in December 2014, and at the time, it was kind of a big deal. Bitcoin enthusiasts had long hoped that the cryptocurrency would become a widely accepted alternative to traditional currencies, but so for that hasn’t happened, for a variety of reasons.

Existing Bitcoin balances honored

If you have unused Bitcoin credited to your Microsoft account, you need not worry about losing it. Although Microsoft isn’t accepting new Bitcoin payments, you can still use any remaining Bitcoin balance credited to your Microsoft account to make purchases on the store, but Microsoft will not refund your remaining balance.

Shop ▾
arrow up Amazon Shop buttons are programmatically attached to all reviews, regardless of products' final review scores. Our parent company, IDG, receives advertisement revenue for shopping activity generated by the links. Because the buttons are attached programmatically, they should not be interpreted as editorial endorsements.

Subscribe to the Best of PCWorld Newsletter