Business

Ed Drake

Microsoft adds Bitcoin symbol in latest Excel update

Microsoft may have just added support for cryptocurrency in its latest Excel update, according to rumours doing the rounds on social media. The tech giant is reported to have included the Bitcoin Core (BTC) symbol within its most recent Excel update, though this remains unconfirmed by the company directly.

The news broke with a post on Reddit where user ‘thepowerx’ claimed that BTC would be included as a supported currency in Excel in future. This was apparently confirmed by a tweet later in the day which purported to show the SegWit symbol in use inside Excel.

Microsoft has been gradually coming round to supporting cryptocurrencies, and if confirmed, these reports would only be the latest step towards acceptance. The firm began accepting payments in cryptocurrency back in 2014, and has been involved in a number of high profile blockchain projects, including the launch of the Bakkt token platform.

Microsoft has even built on top of BTC, with its Ion project focused on digital identity.

However, some commentators have suggested this may be a case of a company choosing the size of the network, rather than technical competency, with BTC still the largest option least susceptible to attacks.

If confirmed, the inclusion can be seen as another vote of confidence in BTC from Microsoft, despite the significant challenges posed by the technical limitations of the blockchain.

Whereas Bitcoin SV closely adheres to the original Bitcoin whitepaper to allow for true scale, BTC is limited to just 6 transactions per second—far too few to be used in any practical sense at scale.

In the case of Ion, Microsoft has chosen to store data off-chain, yet it’s clear this is far from satisfactory. Some commentators have suggested this is a result of Microsoft preferring to build on BTC as the most established blockchain, rather than basing its judgement on BTC’s many failings.

There is no suggestion that the screenshot is fake, and while the reports remain unconfirmed, this would nevertheless be another step towards mainstream awareness of cryptocurrencies.

While other options, such as Bitcoin SV, are technically far superior, the news is likely to be positive for the wider crypto industry, should Microsoft go further in its embrace of cryptocurrencies across its products and services.

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