Zynga starts accepting Bitcoin virtual currency for games


Social gaming firm Zynga is to start accepting the virtual currency BitCoin as a payment option.

The move marks the most significant video games firm to accept bitcoins to date, causing the value of a single Bitcoin to top $1,000 (£610) again.

However, the virtual currency’s value has been highly volatile in recent weeks, falling sharply in December after China restricted trade.

Zynga follows Ouya, the Android-based video games console-maker, which began accepting payments for its hardware in bitcoins last month.

The Humble Bundle - an organisation selling a changing selection of indie games - also began accepting bitcoins in 2013.

Zynga said it had tied up with BitPay, a Bitcoin payment service, to allow users to purchase virtual goods in some of its games using the facility.

"In response to Bitcoin's rise in popularity around the world, Zynga, with help from BitPay, is testing expanded payment options for players to make in-game purchases using Bitcoin," the firm said in a post on Reddit.

Concerns over the use and risks associated the virtual currency have also grown.

Bitcoin became popular, in part, due to it being difficult to trace transactions that use it. The currency has been linked to illegal activity online.

Last month, the European Banking Authority (EBA) warned the public about the potential risks of using bitcoins.

"Currently, no specific regulatory protections exist in the European Union that would protect consumers from financial losses if a platform that exchanges or holds virtual currencies fails or goes out of business," the EBA said.

Read the full statement here

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