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Microsoft Suspends Bitcoin Payments

Microsoft has stopped taking Bitcoin payments. Bleeping Computer reported, Microsoft support called the move temporary, a response to high transaction fees and volatility in Bitcoin’s price.

Microsoft-owned Expedia continues to accept Bitcoin payments as of this writing.

Bleeping Computer noted that Microsoft has twice suspended payments in the past, after first accepting the cryptocurrency in 2014.

Bitcoin Transaction Fees

The biggest bugaboo for Bitcoin right now is high transaction fees. While the ability to send even micropayments with minuscule transaction fees was long one of the key siren songs of Bitcoin, that’s drastically changed in recent months.

The issue is one of scaling. Bitcoin has technical barriers preventing it from being able to handle the big increase in the number of transactions on the networks.

That has resulted in  transaction fees—the amount of Bitcoin added to a transaction to cover the computing costs of verifying the network—rising. Bitcoin owners are in an arms race to pay miners more and more to get their transactions to the front of the queue.

Two years ago, it might have cost a small fraction of a penny to send small amounts of Bitcoin. Now, it can cost several dollars, or even tens of dollars. And that is a problem for any company wanting to take Bitcoin for payments.