A week ago, the Bitcoin community got wind of the news that Microsoft stopped accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment. This was a cause of concern as this is seen as a step back for Bitcoin adoption.
But the Bitcoin community can now rejoice as Microsoft has announced that the tech giant is accepting the cryptocurrency as a payment option once again.
Microsoft first added the Bitcoin payment option back in 2014.
This allowed users to pay for videos, games and apps in Bitcoin for Xbox and Windows platforms.
Earlier this month, Microsoft took off the Bitcoin option as a form of payment. It’s highly possible that the reason behind the move is Bitcoin’s price, which is often cited as very volatile and unstable.
But it seems that the problem has now been sorted out as Microsoft is accepting Bitcoin again.
According to Microsoft’s official press statement about the subject, they are accepting Bitcoin again after working with their provider.
Volatility of Bitcoin a Factor for Microsoft
The Bitcoin community is a bit on the edge when it comes to Bitcoin payments after Steam stopped accepting the cryptocurrency last December.
The volatile nature of Bitcoin and high transaction fees are the biggest reason behind Steam’s decision.
In defense of Steam, Bitcoin experienced extreme volatile swings in the last quarter of 2017. For example, by mid- December, Bitcoin price soared to a high of almost $20,000 per coin.
In the last weeks of December, however, the price even touched a low of around $11,000 to $12,000.
Bitcoin Transaction Fees a Concern
Bitcoin received a lot of attention last year, mainly because of the cryptocurrency’s astronomical gains.
The biggest problem with Bitcoin and decentralized platforms is scaling. Bitcoin’s decentralized nature makes it very secure and resilient as there’s no single point of failure.
On the other hand, as Bitcoin’s network grows, the underlying platform will have a hard time processing the transactions.
This is a key point in the Bitcoin debate. One of the biggest appeals of Bitcoin as a currency is that it’s borderless, very secure and free from grasps of governments and banks. However, at the current state, because of the expensive transaction fees, Bitcoin is not often used to purchase low-value items as the transaction fees are relatively expensive.
As it is often touted, only a fool will pay for $10 for coffee with $10 to $30 in transaction fees. Critics often say that because of the high transaction fees, Bitcoin fails in becoming a viable currency.
Critics often continue that if it is not a currency, then the point of Bitcoin is lost.
Potential Solutions and Future of Bitcoin
At this state, Bitcoin supporters agree that Bitcoin is not the best option for low-value transactions. However, Bitcoin supporters are also quick to assert that Bitcoin as a currency is not its only feature.
For many supporters, Bitcoin is borderless and free from government and bank manipulation—and that itself carries enormous value.
Furthermore, second layer solutions are in the works. In fact, Lightning Network, a second layer platform scaling solution, is already being deployed by a handful of merchants. With the Lightning Network, transaction fees may drop to mere cents.
Everyone in the Bitcoin scene is generally excited about the Lightning Network. But for now, the community can rejoice in the fact that Microsoft is accepting the cryptocurrency again.