Microsoft has done it again! Just like they did twice in the past, in 2014 and 2016, Microsoft temporarily stopped supporting Bitcoin in the wake of an unstable cryptocurrency market earlier this week but has resumed accepting the coin. The suspension this week, but which has been restored, resulted from an unstable state of the digital currency as reported by The Bleeding Computer.
This happened as Jamie Dimon, CEO at JP Morgan was changing his tune after earlier calling Bitcoin a fraud. Jamie told Fox Business he believes the Blockchain is real and anyone can invest in cryptocurrency and ICOs by looking at them individually. He reiterated that for him the Bitcoin was always what the government felt about it and it’s the reason he had a different opinion from most people.
Rising fees and long transaction waiting times are part of the frustrations investors are experiencing with the Bitcoin network as it struggles to process at least four transactions per second. Only users who add an optional fee to a transaction were getting acceptance from miners before moving to the next block. As pressure mounted on the Bitcoin, there was competition for the inadequate space in the blocks and this is what pushed the average fees up and users had to choose between paying the higher amounts and waiting for days or hours to complete transactions.
Competitor digital currencies like Ripple, Ethereum and the controversial Bitcoin Cash are touting lower fees and shorter wait times than Bitcoin, whose market share has slid down from 87 percent a year ago to about the current 36 percent. In December 2017, Valve, a video game company said it was withdrawing support for Bitcoin citing high fees and volatility.
Bitcoin has displayed a lot of volatility, with its value changing between $10,000 and $20,000 in the last 3 months alone without a definite end in sight. Even though Microsoft didn’t say how much Bitcoin it was processing or the number of users that were affected, users trying to complete transactions were informed they could no longer utilize the Bitcoin with their Microsoft accounts.
However, Microsoft is now accepting Bitcoin back to its Xbox and Windows online stores and users can now add Bitcoin to their Microsoft digital wallets and redeem as if they were fiat dollars. Microsoft told new.com.au, an Australian New Site on Wednesday they have restored Bitcoin as a payment method after working with providers to ensure the customers can redeem lower Bitcoin amounts. Microsoft has accepted Bitcoin as a payment option since 2014.
Bitcoin has experienced a wild ride over the last one year hitting record highs one day before sliding the next day. In mid-December 2017 Bitcoin got close to hitting the $20,000 mark but a few days later it lost 22% value to $15,262. Microsoft’s pause on Bitcoin on its stores is like a decision by Steam, a video gaming service. Steam stopped accepting Bitcoin sometime in December 2017 citing high fees and volatility but said they were open to accepting Bitcoin sometime later.