Microsoft Xbox and Mobile Marketplace Now Accepts Bitcoin

Microsoft Accounts, which includes Xbox Live users, now allow the "redemption" of Bitcoin for a dollar amount credit. This credit may be used as payment for Xbox Live Services and products. Windows Phone users may also use the credit to make purchases in the Windows App Store. Other well known Microsoft products, such as Windows and Office, are not available for purchase using this method.

A FAQ on Microsoft's site details the redemption process, which eventually ends with a BitPay checkout screen. The FAQ states, "Money added to your Microsoft account using Bitcoin cannot be refunded," but it also requests users have "their refund receiving Bitcoin address" ready before contacting support. This questions whether or not Microsoft will treat Bitcoin transactions as non-refundable.

Although well received by some, the recent partnership between Microsoft and BitPay raises questions. Particularly, why Microsoft would not develop and use its own internal payment solution for accepting Bitcoin?

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