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Update: Microsoft Store not turning its back on bitcoin payments for Windows 10

Update: Microsoft clarifies that it will continue to offer the cryptocurrency as a payment option.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

Updated 5:15pm ET March 14 2016 -

Based on information "inadvertently" posted by Microsoft, it was reported earlier that Microsoft had stopped accepting bitcoin as a payment option for Windows 10 within its Microsoft Store used to purchase software and devices online, as well as power the company's Xbox, music, and video stores.

A Microsoft spokesperson offered this clarification: "We continue to support Bitcoin for adding money to your Microsoft Account which can be used for purchasing content in the Windows and Xbox stores. We apologize for inaccurate information that was inadvertently posted to a Microsoft site, which is currently being corrected."

The previously published story follows:

"You can no longer redeem Bitcoin into your Microsoft account," the company said in an update first spotted on Reddit. "Existing balances in your account will still be available for purchases from Microsoft Store, but can't be refunded."

The ending of support for bitcoin payments only applies to Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile stores, the page says. Users reported being able to continue to add bitcoin to their Xbox accounts.

Microsoft introduced bitcoin support in December 2014, and allow users to trade in the cryptocurrency at the going market value via third-party bitcoin payment processor BitPay, and add the equivalent value to customers' Microsoft accounts.

The option is limited to customers in the United States.

"For us, this is about giving people options and helping them do more on their devices and in the cloud," Microsoft Universal Store corporate vice president Eric Lockard said in 2014. "The use of digital currencies such as bitcoin, while not yet mainstream, is growing beyond the early enthusiasts. We expect this growth to continue, and allowing people to use bitcoin to purchase our products and services now allows us to be at the front edge of that trend."

Earlier this month, Peter Williams, chief edge officer at Deloitte's Centre for the Edge, said there is an irrational exuberance for blockchain, the ledger that underpins bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

"I haven't seen anything as hyped in such a short period of time as blockchain ... The answer to every question seems to be 'blockchain'," he said.

"I expect that at the next Miss World: 'What do you want to do?' 'I want to solve world peace by using a blockchain, and end poverty and world hunger as well'."

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