By Clayton Callis
Microsoft has recently accommodated bitcoin to its entire payment system with the help of bitpay which keeps track of the value of bitcoin to provide accurate conversion rates, this means Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox users can now purchase from Microsoft’s digital stores using the anonymous, open source, p2p cryptocurrency that has surged in popularity and value in the last few years with ease.
Bitcoin is a fairly recent system based on technology that became prominent with the rise of ‘the piratebay’ and other torrent sites, the technology is fundamentally based on peer to peer/P2P networks, the benefit of these networks is that clients both provide and use resources. This means that unlike client-server systems, the content serving capacity of peer-to-peer networks can actually increase as more users begin to access the content.
To learn more about how Bitcoin works –
However that’s not all techgeeks love about Bitcoin, Bitcoin exploded in early 2014/late 2013 going from 1btc – $10 to 1btc – $400 and even reaching peaks of $1400. This of course sent a message that got national attention, cryptocurrencies needed to be taken seriously.
Microsoft is one of few companies that have taken it seriously and it wasn’t easy. Bitcoin was initially laughed at, rejected with some fallacious claims such as ‘it’s going to run out of data’ then it was shunned due to the Mt Gox crash which was actually due to incompetence on the part of Mt Gox’s staff and finally it gained what many consider to be a stamp of approval, one of the biggest tech companies willing to engage and legitimize it as a proper method of payment.
However they are not exactly engaging in the Bitcoin market since Microsoft is not actually receiving Bitcoins itself, they’re using a partner that converts customers Bitcoin payments into dollars. This means that Microsoft itself will not be accumulating and thus spending Bitcoins.
A Microsoft spokesperson stated to the Wall Street Journal: “We are dipping our toe in the water, we are not going guns blazing on this yet.” In another quote they said: “this is about giving people options and helping them do more on their devices and in the cloud.”
There are some restrictions however, you cannot purchase directly from the stores with bitcoin. You need to go through Microsoft’s account management system via web browser to buy credit with bitcoin which you can then use in stores and this option is only available in the US for now, however it’s likely that Microsoft will roll it out if they’re sure that this is the way to go.
Who’s to thank? Not Bill Gates, not Steve Balmer but a new CEO that took the reins of Microsoft in Febuary, Satya Nadella. It says something about the rapid acceleration of technology that previous tech geniuses such as Bill Gates and Steve Balmer haven’t caught up to what some say is a world-wide monetary revolution.