Sunday, February 11, 2018

Microsoft Restores Bitcoin payments

Microsoft has resumed accepting bitcoin as payment after temporarily halting transactions in the “unstable” cryptocurrency earlier this week.
Since 2014, the software giant has allowed users to add money to their Microsoft account using bitcoin, but has temporarily stopped supporting bitcoin twice in the past, once in 2015 and once in 2016. The move this week, first reorted by Bleeping Computer, was due to the “unstable state of the bitcoin currency”. In a statement to news.com.au on Wednesday, a Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed the suspension but said the service had now been restored.
“We’ve restored bitcoin as a payment option in our store after working with our provider to ensure lower bitcoin amounts would be redeemable by customers,” she said.
It came as JP Morgan boss Jamie Dimon said he regretted calling bitcoin a “fraud” last year. “The blockchain is real, you can have crypto dollars and stuff like that, ICOs [initial coin offerings] you’ve got to look at every one individually,” he said in an interview with Fox Business.
“The bitcoin to me was always what the governments are gonna feel about bitcoin as it gets really big, and I just have a different opinion than other people. I’m not interested that much in the subject at all.” Skyrocketing fees and long transaction wait times have made it increasingly difficult to carry out day-to-day commerce using the bitcoin network, which is struggling to process more than four transactions per second.
Bitcoin users can choose to add an optional fee to a transaction. The higher the fee, the more likely the transaction will be accepted by the “miners” — the computers which continually verify and add to the blockchain — and so make it into the next “block”.
As more investors pile into bitcoin, competition for the limited space in each block has pushed up average fees.

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