We’re Not A Bank & Don’t Want To Compete With Them: Microsoft President On Fintech Companies Issuing Currencies

Brad Smith says governments are best placed for that role. Meanwhile, the company is asking its Xbox customers about Bitcoin as a payment method.


Microsoft President Brad Smith is not in favor of financial technology companies issuing currencies. According to him, governments are still best-placed for that.

“I’m not a big fan myself of encouraging or asking or wanting us to participate in the issuing of currency,” said Smith at an online conference hosted by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). He added,

“The money supply almost uniquely needs to be managed by an entity that is responsible to the public and thinks really only about the public interest, and that means governments.”

The world has been seeing a shift to digital payments accelerated by the pandemic. The massive amount of money printing as financial aid to help the economy recover has further fueled the interest in cryptos and Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation.

This has raised concerns among policymakers while central banks around the globe study issuing their own digital currencies. Smith said,

“I think the world has been better served by what has been a movement over centuries to put that in the hands of governments.”

“We’re not a bank, and we don’t want to become a bank, and we don’t want to compete with our customers who are banks.”

Meanwhile, Microsoft is asking its Xbox users about Bitcoin as a payment option.

The survey is part of the Xbox Insider Program for beta testing OS Updates. It asks a couple of questions, including your current payment method, your views on the several payment methods supported on Xbox, which other should be added, and if the lack of your preferred method prompted you not to purchase something from Xbox.

Back in 2014, Microsoft allowed its users to pay for Xbox games with BTC, but the feature has been no longer available.

Just yesterday, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, announced that the electric car maker accepts Bitcoin. He further said they wouldn’t be converting any BTC received in payment in fiat currency either, preferring to hold the cryptocurrency.

Tesla also divulged last month that it had invested $1.5 billion into Bitcoin, following which Smith said Microsoft didn’t have any investment in the cryptocurrency.

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