Wikipedia has decided to stop accepting cryptocurrency donations after eight years. The decision was made at the request of the Wikimedia community, citing “environmental sustainability issues” as the main reason.
Wikipedia stops accepting bitcoin and cryptocurrency donations
The Wikimedia Foundation announced its decision to “cease direct acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of donation.” The Foundation began accepting bitcoin in July 2014.
“The Wikimedia Foundation is a nonprofit organization that maintains Wikipedia and our other free knowledge projects,” the foundation’s website states. Wikipedia is an online free encyclopedia with over 200,000 volunteers, according to the foundation.
On May 1, the organization published an update on its Wikipedia page that reads:
We began directly accepting cryptocurrency in 2014 at the request of our volunteers and donors. We are making this decision based on recent feedback from the same communities.
“Specifically, we will be closing our Bitpay account, which will deny us the ability to directly accept cryptocurrency as a donation method,” the update goes on to say.
Molly White, Wikipedia editor, explained on Sunday that the decision was the result of a three-month discussion she began on Jan. 10. The discussion concluded on April 12. “There were 400 users in total, although some of them were single-purpose accounts set up just for discussion (mostly to try to bend the RfC [Request for Comments] against that request),” she noted.
The Wikimedia Community Comment Request page explains that common arguments in support of stopping cryptocurrency donations include “environmental sustainability issues, that accepting cryptocurrencies is an implicit endorsement of cryptocurrency-related issues, and community concerns about the risk to the movement’s reputation of accepting cryptocurrencies.”
On the other hand, common arguments against stopping the acceptance of cryptocurrency donations include “the existence of less energy-intensive cryptocurrencies (proof-of-stake), that cryptocurrencies provide safer ways for people in oppressive countries to donate and participate financially, and that fiat currencies also have environmental sustainability issues.”
According to the findings:
Excluding new accounts and unregistered users, 232 to 94, or 71.17%, were in favor of the proposal… Thus, the Wikimedia community is asking the Wikimedia Foundation to stop accepting cryptocurrency donations.
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