Microsoft is adding Bitcoin support, and another financial market leader shares its views on the digital currency. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 50:
- Bitcoins can now be used to buy Windows apps and Xbox games. Tech giant Microsoft has added the digital currency as a payment option. Direct payments are not possible, but users can use Bitcoins to add money to their Microsoft account.
- Even though the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers Bitcoin a property, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has now said that Bitcoin purchases will not be subject to sales taxes. The move is likely due to the fact that other countries are publishing more Bitcoin friendly guidance, putting New York at risk of losing its position as a financial center should the digital currency play an important role in finance in the future.
- Several companies in the financial sector do seem to fear this may happen. For the third week in a row, Bitcoin is under attack from a financial market leader following MasterCard and Western Union. This time American Express (AMEX) is sharing its views on Bitcoin, albeit more diplomatic. AMEX CEO, Ken Chenault, thinks that the “protocol of Bitcoin is going to be important” and that the currency will be a direct competitor to the company.
- Ripple is breaking records. Another strong week has put its market capitalization over half a billion USD, up more than 20 percent since the start of the week.
- Other major cryptocurrencies did not perform that well. Bitcoin and Litecoin lost 7 and 3 percent respectively. Dogecoin even lost more than 12 percent in the week in which it celebrated its first anniversary.