Xbox gamers can now pay for games in bitcoin

11 Dec 2014

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Microsoft surprised many by making it known that for a range of digital products, consumers can now pay for them using the cryptocurrency bitcoin.

While seemingly a pretty bold step for a multi-billion-dollar tech company to take with a currency that fluctuates wildly as the day is long, the safety net for Microsoft is that you cannot pay directly for items, but can rather add funds to an online account using bitcoin.

Under the new option explained by Microsoft on its website, an Xbox gamer could now pay for his or her games using his or her bitcoin wallet.

However, in its post, Microsoft has seemingly left the door open for possible expansion and direct acceptance of the currency.

“You can only use bitcoin to add money to your Microsoft account and then purchase digital goods at select Microsoft online stores. You can’t use bitcoin to purchase Microsoft products and services directly at this time,” the post reads.

There is something of a downside by paying with bitcoin, however. Microsoft has confirmed that those who pay with the cryptocurrency will not be entitled to a refund. Anyone who feels a payment has been made without his or her consent should contact the company, but that could already be too late.

The surprise move is believed to be because of a deal struck between Microsoft and one of the largest bitcoin exchanges, BitPay, which has already signed deals with other companies, including WordPress and Virgin Galactic.

Bitcoin image via Shutterstock

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Colm Gorey is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com