Social game maker Zynga is testing Bitcoin as a new way to pay for your in-game purchases of chickens, power-ups, and assorted doodads. Zynga launched a test today with BitPay, a Bitcoin service provider. You can now make in-game purchases using Bitcoin while playing select games on Zynga.com. The games currently accepting Bitcoins are FarmVille 2, CastleVille, ChefVille, CoasterVille, Hidden Chronicles, Hidden Shadows and CityVille. The Bitcoin payment option is not available through Facebook. Zynga made the announcement to the Reddit bitcoin community, and requested customer feedback on the Bitcoin test.
Initial feedback from the community has been positive, with several users reporting successful and speedy transactions. YouTube user Anthony Di lorio created an instructional video, showing one-click payments to Zynga using Bitpay and Kyptokit. Bitcoin transactions, unlike Paypal or credit card purchases, do not charge a transaction fee to the retailer, making them attractive to businesses. The Ouya website announced earlier this month that gamers can now purchase an Ouya console using Bitcoin. Some Subway franchises and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic also accept Bitcoin payments. The electronic currency is not widespread, but acceptance appears to be growing. Other digital cryptocurrencies, like the newly announced Coinye West and the Shiba Inu-themed Dogecoin, are attempting to rival Bitcoin.
The Bitcoin exchange rate is currently $811.52 USD. The digital cryptocurrency hit a high of roughly $1213.42, but dropped to $435.21 after BTC China, China’s biggest Bitcoin exchange, stopped accepting new yuan deposits. BTC China pointed to government regulation as the cause, which has warned other financial institutions against using Bitcoin. The secure and anonymous nature of the currency has also raised concerns over its use as payment for illegal goods.