Microsoft has announced today that it will be accepting Bitcoins as a payment option for users to fund accounts.

Microsoft beats other silicon valley giants to be first to allow Bitcoin payments

Microsoft has been known to be expanding its tech to the bleeding edge dishing out unique content to millions of customers world wide, but this shock announcement has come as a complete surprise. Bitcoin has made real advance in the field of adoption as it has been teased by eBay and Amazon and even featured in a promo video by Paypal, but this has come as the biggest news of the year. The official Microsoft Blog detailed Microsofts ambitions as it plans to expand its operations to include the widest possible userbase possible.

“For us, this is about giving people options and helping them do more on their devices and in the cloud,” says Eric Lockard, corporate vice president of Universal Store at Microsoft. “The use of digital currencies such as bitcoin, while not yet mainstream, is growing beyond the early enthusiasts. We expect this growth to continue and allowing people to use bitcoin to purchase our products and services now allows us to be at the front edge of that trend.”

source : Microsoft Blog

It has also been revealed that Microsoft will be making use of Bitpay to handle and manage the Bitcoin payments from the site. The currency will be used to top up users balances to provide credit to purchase a multitude of items from the Microsoft store such as Xbox games. Bitpay has become the payment processor of choice for many big brands such as NewEgg, TigerDirect and OverStock. The Bitpay, Microsoft  partnership is set to launch Bitcoin exposure in to the stratosphere as the payment processor is designed to give Microsoft customers using Bitcoin a smooth experience.

Microsoft new service in action.

The Microsoft Blog post also outlined the simple process which is undergone to transfer the Bitcoins deposited in to usable credit. Via the partnership of Bitpay, Microsoft has managed to offer Bitcoin payments in line with the method being used by other major retailers. Accept BTC and receive Fiat through the sale of Bitcoin, whilst this may be controversial as the company is not actually accepting Bitcoin, it allows users to use their hard earned bitcoins on a website which meets all gaming and developers needs.

Now, bitcoin will appear as an option for those wishing to add money to their Microsoft accounts. If you want to transfer your bitcoins, you first need to select the amount of money to add to your Microsoft account. BitPay calculates the equivalent amount in bitcoin and delivers that information, along with a BitPay Bitcoin address and payment instructions. You then pay the displayed amount of bitcoin from your bitcoin wallet to complete the transaction. Currently, BitPay supports more than 50,000 businesses, including TigerDirect, Virgin Galactic and Newegg.

source : Microsoft Blog

With Bitcoin being heralded by a whole host of international companies all operating on multi million dollar profits a year, the financial benefits of increasing exposure clearly visible. Bitcoin has maintained a stable price over the past few months ranging from $360 – $405 due to the sustained public interest brought on by new developments. First PayPal then eBay and even Amazon signaled Bitcoin integration but only Microsoft managed to integrate the cryptocoin on this scale.

What may the future hold for the Bitcoin further advances in adoption or another price rally ? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.