The Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), the organization behind Wikipedia, has announced that it will no longer accept donations in cryptocurrency, as first reported by Web3 is just going great† In an update, the WMF says it has “decided to end the direct adoption of cryptocurrency as a means of donation”. It also says it will close its Bitpay account, preventing future contributions in crypto.
After a lengthy discussion with nearly 400 members of the WMF community, the majority voted in favor of abolishing crypto contributions 234 to 94. Some of the main arguments centered on Bitcoin’s environmental implications, the risk of scams, and the fact that the WMF gets 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, representing just 0.08 percent of the total contributions it received. Following the community vote, the WMF held an internal discussion and issued the final call to cease cryptocurrency donations.
The Wikimedia Foundation has decided to stop accepting cryptocurrency donations. The decision was made on the basis of a community request that the WMF no longer accept crypto donations, following a three-month discussion that concluded earlier this month. pic.twitter.com/RHAD0FRA5W
— Molly White (@molly0xFFF) May 1, 2022
The WMF began accepting Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ether donations in 2014, but a number of issues prompted the organization to re-evaluate these policies. Molly White, a longtime Wikipedia editor and the creator of Web3 is just going greatsuggested that the WMF stop receiving cryptocurrency donations in January, arguing that it contradicts the organization’s commitment to environmental sustainability and also indicates that the Wikimedia Foundation supports “inherently predatory” investments.
White (who uses the username GorillaWarfare on Wikipedia) also mentioned Mozilla’s re-evaluation of its involvement in the crypto space. Mozilla finally decided to stop donating cryptocurrencies in April after receiving comments from users, developers and one of its founders, Jamie Zawinski. a tweet reminding users that it accepts donations in Bitcoin and Ethereum.
“I am very pleased that the Wikimedia Foundation has complied with its community’s request, and I am really proud of my community for making the ethical decision after much thought,” White said in a statement to The edge† “There are just too many problems with crypto to make potential donation income worth the cost of legitimizing it.”
The WMF concluded its update by saying it will “continue to monitor this issue” and “remain flexible and responsive to the needs of volunteers and donors”.