The Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), the organization behind Wikipedia, has announced that it will no longer accept cryptocurrency donations, as first reported. web3 is great. In an update, WMF says that it “has decided to discontinue the direct acceptance of cryptocurrencies as a means of donation.” It also says that it will close your Bitpay account, preventing future cryptocurrency contributions.
After a lengthy discussion with almost 400 members of the WMF community, the majority voted to remove crypto contributions 234 to 94. Some of the main arguments concerned the environmental implications of Bitcoin, the risk of scams, as well as the fact that the WMF receives such a low amount of donations in cryptocurrency compared to other forms of payment. The WMF says it received $130,100.94 in cryptocurrency donations in 2021, which is just 0.08 percent of the total contributions it received. Following the community vote, WMF held an internal discussion and made the final call to suspend crypto donations.
The Wikimedia Foundation has decided to stop accepting donations in cryptocurrencies. The decision was made based on a community request that WMF no longer accept crypto donations, which stemmed from a three-month-long discussion that concluded earlier this month. pic.twitter.com/RHAD0FRA5W
— Molly Blanco (@molly0xFFF) May 1, 2022
WMF began accepting Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ether donations in 2014, but various issues prompted the organization to re-evaluate this policy. Molly White, longtime Wikipedia editor and creator of web3 is greatproposed that WMF stop accepting cryptocurrency donations in January, arguing that it contradicts the organization’s commitment to environmental sustainability and also notes that the Wikimedia Foundation supports “inherently predatory” investments.
White (who goes by the username GorillaWarfare on Wikipedia) also cited Mozilla’s reassessment of its involvement in the crypto space. Mozilla finally decided to suspend crypto donations in April after receiving backlash from users, developers, and one of its founders, Jamie Zawinski, for posting a tweet reminding users that it accepts donations in Bitcoin and Ethereum.
“I am very happy that the Wikimedia Foundation has implemented their community request, and I am very proud of my community for making what I feel was the ethical decision after much thoughtful discussion,” White said in a statement to the edge. “There are too many problems with crypto for any potential donation income to be worth the cost of helping to legitimize it.”
The WMF concluded its update by saying that it “will continue to monitor this issue” and will “remain flexible and responsive to the needs of volunteers and donors.”