Wikimedia Foundation–a non-profit organisation that runs Wikipedia– has decided to stop accepting donations in cryptocurrency, citing the negative impact cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have on the environment. “The Wikimedia Foundation has decided to discontinue direct acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of donating … we are making this decision based on recent feedback from [volunteers and donor] communities,” the foundation said in a statement.
The decision to stop accepting crypto as the donation was made based on a community request, which came out of a three-month-long discussion that wrapped up in April, according to a Wikipedian who goes by the name Molly While on Twitter.
The pitfalls and promises of cryptocurrencies were discussed in the three months-long discussions held, and voting was organised where 400 Wikipedia editors participated, out of which 232 users—71.7 per cent were in support of the proposal against crypto donations and 94 editors voted for crypto donations, others (75 users) were excluded from voting.
“Cryptocurrencies are extremely risky investments that have only been gaining popularity among retail investors particularly in recent times, and I do not think we should be endorsing their use in this way. In accepting them, I believe we are mainstreaming the usage of “investments” and technology that are inherently predatory,” the proposal read.
Common arguments in support of the proposal to stop crypto included issues of “environmental sustainability, that accepting cryptocurrencies constitutes an implicit endorsement of the issues surrounding cryptocurrencies, and community issues with the risk to the movement’s reputation for accepting cryptocurrencies,” Vermont wrote in a Wikipedia post.
Accepting crypto means risking damage to our reputation by participating in this, according to Vermont. Here’s an example of Mozilla, a popular web browser which is re-evaluating their choice to accept cryptocurrency donations after considerable backlash from their supporters as said by Wikipedian.
However, Mozilla has continued payments in cryptocurrency a few days ago. According to a blog post, the company will only accept Proof of Stake cryptocurrencies and not Proof of Work cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, etc.
The Wikimedia foundation received crypto donations worth $130,000 in the most recent fiscal year, which is evidently less than 0.1 per cent of the foundation’s revenue, which topped $150 million last year as per the information posted by Vermont. Wikipedia had 347 donors who used the cryptocurrency option and Bitcoin, having said it was the most commonly used mode for payment via crypto in the last financial year.