Bitcoin exchange rates will now be found at the top of Bing search results, using the syntax ‘100 usd to btc,’ or whatever currency you’re interested in. The feature is already available in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and India, and it’s being rolled out in other markets over the next few weeks according to a Bing blog post.
“As Bitcoin (the peer-to-peer payment system and digital currency) makes headlines and captures the world’s attention, we thought it was only natural to give you an easy way to track real-time fluctuations. Starting today, you will find instant Bitcoin conversions at the top of your Bing results,” said the blog post.
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Google letting Bing take the lead on this one
A few weeks ago Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) said that it wasn’t interested in creating the same functionality for Bitcoin, at least for now.
“As we continue to work on Google Wallet, we’re grateful for a very wide range of suggestions,” said a Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) spokesperson, reports Emil Protalinski on The Next Web. “While we’re keen to actively engage with Wallet users to help inform and shape the product, there’s no change to our position: we have no current plans regarding Bitcoin.”
BTC exchange rate far more volatile than hard currencies
Whether Bitcoin is a legitimate currency is still an ongoing debate, but there’s no question that it has much higher volatility than the other currencies that Google and Bing offer information on. Bitcoin exchange rates are also not covered with the same degree of rigor as major currencies. When Google quotes a USD/EUR rate it can be fairly confident that the rate is accurate and current. Reporting btc exchange rates with the same degree of confidence could be difficult (even an accurate up-to-the minute quote can be pretty far off the mark when a flash crash hits) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) may not want to risk burning Google Wallet users who don’t understand how different Bitcoin is from hard currencies.
Bing, on the other hand, has to fight for market share that is still dominated by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), and it may have decided that offering new services is worth the risk of them not working as expected, especially if it can generate buzz on major tech sites.