Microsoft pulls the plug on ‘unstable’ BTC transactions
Yet another company has stopped accepting SegWit1x (BTC) as a method of payment for its products, according to reports.
Early this week, news surfaced that tech giant Microsoft has barred its customers from adding BTC funds to their accounts. Bleeping Computer, which first reported the news, quoted several employees who cited the cryptocurrency’s “unstable state” as the reason for the ban.
The move, however, is temporary, according to the report.
This isn’t the first time that the tech giant has pulled the plug on BTC-related transactions since it added support for the cryptocurrency in 2014. In 2016, a note in the Microsoft Store FAQ stated that users “can no longer redeem Bitcoin” into their Microsoft accounts. However, the company immediately retracted the “inaccurate information” and said its customers can still pay for Windows and Xbox stores content with BTC.
There is no official word yet from the tech giant, and at the time of writing, the support page for adding BTC to a Microsoft account remains unchanged. In it, the company warned users that BTC deposits “can’t be refunded.”
“When you redeem Bitcoin to deposit funds into your Microsoft account, you can use it to purchase games, movies, and apps in the Windows and Xbox stores. You cannot use these funds to purchase items in the Microsoft online store,” according to Microsoft.
The tech giant’s move mirrors that of video gaming platform Steam, which ditched BTC as a payment option last December because of its high fees and volatility in value. When BTC was trading at over $15,000, which happened shortly after Steam’s announcement, a block on the legacy chain was mined with 2,335 transactions and 13.01 BTC in fees. This means the total transaction fees charged for this block was around $200,000, or over $85 per transaction on average.
Currently, the average transaction fee for BTC hovers at $31, according to BitInfoCharts data. In comparison, the transaction fee for Bitcoin Cash (BCH) averages at $0.825.
According to Steam, the surge in BTC’s price and network transaction fees is causing headache for both the customers and the company. Steam’s parent company, Valve Corp., said the cryptocurrency’s current “extreme” volatility, users either need to transfer additional funds to cover the remaining balance of their transaction or opt to have their original payment refunded. Either way, users will have to pay the BTC network transaction fee again.
Because it is now becoming more and more expensive to spend, the only use left for BTC and its chain is to become an institutional value transfer system, although it will be an inefficient one compared to Bitcoin Cash, which is considered the only Bitcoin variant that remains true to the original vision of Satoshi Nakamoto.
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