If there is one trend that became evident in the year 2017, it is how some early adopters have dropped support for Bitcoin. More specifically, a lack of interest and high transaction costs have made dealing in Bitcoin unappealing for most retailers. Microsoft is perhaps the biggest company to have rethought its support for Bitcoin recently, even though it always offered it in very limited fashion. Surprisingly, the company no longer counts Bitcoin among its “active payment instruments”.
MICROSOFT SHOWS LITTLE LOVE FOR BITCOIN
It is evident Bitcoin is not in the best of places right now. More specifically, the currency has become increasingly difficult to use. Confirmation delays and high network fees make it less of a currency and more of a store of value. That is not ideal for any cryptocurrency, even though it doesn’t seem to have affected the Bitcoin price whatsoever. At the same time, companies which accept Bitcoin payments are slowly rethinking their strategies due to these ongoing issues.
Microsoft is one of the companies rethinking their support for Bitcoin altogether. Although the company has been an early supporter of Bitcoin, the company always did so in very limited fashion. More specifically, it only offered select digital products in exchange for Bitcoin, and mainly to US customers only. It was evident this was just a trial, but things turned out less positively than initially anticipated. Microsoft still accepts Bitcoin, but users now can only use it to pre-fund their account balances.
According to a recent chat log with Microsoft support staff, the Bitcoin payment option has been revamped. Moreover, this has been planned for some time now, and the company has been monitoring the ongoing network issues plaguing Bitcoin, including the high fees and transaction delays. These problems have persisted for quite some time now, but things are not improving. In fact, the situation is growing worse every year.
For the time being, Bitcoin is no longer one of Microsoft’s “active payment instruments”. This is a very interesting development which doesn’t bode well for the future of Bitcoin. In fact, it seems Microsoft no longer considers Bitcoin to be a currency either. Although such a statement can be interpreted in many different ways, there’s no denying that Microsoft isn’t too happy with the way Bitcoin has evolved over the past two years.
One could certainly make the case that Bitcoin is no longer a useful payment method these days. It is too expensive, too slow, and just too cumbersome for most people to even consider using it. Although this is not a permanent situation, it is evident something will need to change for Bitcoin at some point. There are some developments which may come to market in the near future, but for now, the current situation will remain in place.
Microsoft is not the only company which has adjusted its support for Bitcoin in the past year. In fact, quite a few early adopters have reconsidered their stances in this regard. It also seems fewer merchants are being added to the list of Bitcoin-supporting companies than were before. When Bitcoin payment processors must implement a secondary fee just to remain operational, it is evident the problems are a lot more serious than most people assume.
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