It is worth noting that Microsoft has allowed Bitcoin to be used before… kind of.
A screenshot doing the rounds on Twitter suggests that Microsoft is polling Xbox users and asking whether they would like the option to pay using Bitcoin.
In the short survey, gamers are asked how they currently pay for things on Xbox, and whether they’re happy with the number of payment methods on offer.
They’re then asked which other payment methods they would like to use in the gaming marketplace — and “Pay with Bitcoin” is among the options.
The last question asks whether a gamer has decided not to purchase something from Xbox because their preferred way to pay wasn’t available.
History Repeats Itself
It is worth noting that Microsoft has allowed Bitcoin to be used before… kind of. Back in 2014, it allowed users to top up their accounts using the cryptocurrency. Once converted into dollars, it could be used to purchase games, apps and videos in its Xbox store — as well as on Windows devices.
Presciently, Microsoft executive Eric Lockard said at the time:
“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.”
Here’s hoping he had the foresight to own some for himself.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that Microsoft will end up accepting Bitcoin directly — this is just a poll gauging user opinion.
One user on Twitter asked why anyone would want to make purchases using BTC, given how the cryptocurrency is a store of value.
And another sarcastically added: “Can’t wait to pay a $30 fee for a $10 game.”
If Microsoft does decide to embrace crypto further, this would be at odds with the company’s co-founder Bill Gates, who has criticized Bitcoin several times over the years. One of his main concerns centers on how much energy the digital asset consumes.