In what can only be described as a surprise move on the weekend, Microsoft first removes support for bitcoin, and then reinstates it a few days later stating that “a mistake had been made”. So what the hell is going on?
I’m sure you’ve all read the news articles so I’ll spare you the short description of what happened. Some of you probably even headed over and checked the Microsoft website to see the actual error. If so, did you see anything you liked while you were there, maybe purchased a new app?
Smells a bit fishy to me. I’ll let you decide. But, ask yourself this, how could one of the largest tech companies in the world make such a simple mistake that could potentially have quite large implications for both Microsoft and bitcoin.
Given the recent shit-storm of negative press surrounding Mike Hearn’s recent outburst, and the never-ending ‘bitcoin is dead’ stories, it seems as though Microsoft might be trying to leverage some of that media. Whether they are or not, it certainly is an interesting way to do it, and maybe just a little bit risky.
It’s no secret that the majority of bitcoin users are tech-oriented males who may or may not own any kind of Microsoft product. In any case, if any of these people didn’t know that Microsoft accepted bitcoin as a payment method – they do now!
Anyway, it seems unlikely that Microsoft would just remove bitcoin payments without any kind of notice given the fanfare around the introduction of bitcoin payments in 2014. Bill Gates himself calls bitcoin “a techno tour de force”. Not that it means much given he only owns 3.6% of the company.
So the real question here is not whether Microsoft meant to do this or not, but who is set to gain the most from it. Bitcoin itself certainly got straight back into the main stream media for all the wrong reasons again – but, hey, we’re used to that – and Microsoft essentially launched itself right into the middle of the bitcoin media circus.
Some of you might argue that it is also for the wrong reasons, but in the words of Oscar Wilde: “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about”.
So, thanks Microsoft for the free ad.