Microsoft is the latest major company to partner with bitcoin payment processor BitPay, allowing customers to purchase digital goods with the increasingly popular method of payment.
In one of the largest sponsorships to date, the tech giant will now give customers the ability to purchase apps and games for Windows operating system, Windows phone and Xbox.
The company announced the new feature would become available for US customers starting Thursday.
“For us, this is about giving people options and helping them do more on their devices and in the cloud,” said Eric Lockard, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Universal Store. “The use of digital currencies such as Bitcoin, while not yet mainstream, is growing beyond the early enthusiasts.”
Lockard added the company expected the growth of cryptocurrency to continue, while allowing customers to use bitcoin to purchase its products and services would launch Microsoft “at the front edge of that trend.”
Meanwhile, Tony Gallippi, BitPay cofounder and executive chairman, said the partnership would also help make international payment processing more convenient.
“People are using their products and operating system in many parts of the world that don’t have credit card penetration,” said Gallippi. “It’s difficult for many consumers to actually be able to put money in their Microsoft accounts.”
According to the International Business Times, the collaboration has already caused the price of the cryptocurrency to rise by $20, as well as increasing Bitcoin’s market cap up to $5 billion.
Other major cryptocurrencies, such as Litecoin, dogecoin, darkcoin and namecoin, also increased in value by similar amounts.