The Wikimedia Foundation announces they won't accept crypto donations after a 3 months debate
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Wikimedia, behind Wikipedia officially announces it will no longer accepts crypto donations on environmental ground
71.17% of fewer than 400 users voted in favor of ending crypto donations
After Wikipedia editors voted to drop cryptocurrency as a donation option last month, the Wikimedia Foundation has confirmed that it will no longer accept Bitcoin or other forms of crypto, The Verge reported. As part of that decision, it's closing its Bitpay account to prevent any future donations.
Bitcoin (BTC) mining has been the hot topic of 2022. The China ban on Bitcoin mining has led to a sharp increase in government and regulatory scrutiny over the impact of proof-of-work mining on the environment.
"The Wikimedia Foundation has decided to discontinue direct acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of donating. We began our direct acceptance of cryptocurrency in 2014 based on requests from our volunteers and donor communities. We are making this decision based on recent feedback from those same communities. Specifically, we will be closing our Bitpay account, which will remove our ability to directly accept cryptocurrency as a method of donating," the WMF wrote in an update.
Wikipedia editor GorillaWarefare (aka Molly White) wrote a proposal for the foundation to stop accepting cryptocurrencies, calling them "extremely risky investments." She also pointed out that they may not align with the foundation's commitment to environmental sustainability, as annual crypto production uses more energy than entire countries. White also cited the Mozilla Foundation's change of heart in its decision to accept Bitcoin after facing a heavy backlash from users.
Concerns over crypto mining have led to calls for a ban on Proof-of-Work mining by lawmakers in the EU and the US.
Corporations have also responded to demands for a move away from Proof-of-Work cryptos.
According to Wikimedia,
“A little under 400 users participated in the voting and discussion concerning the proposition that the Wikimedia Foundation stop accepting cryptocurrency donations.”
The request for comment was open from January 10, 2022, to April 12, 2022.
Common arguments in opposition to a ban included,
“The existence of less energy-intensive cryptocurrencies (proof-of-stake), that cryptocurrencies provide safer ways to donate and engage in finance for people in oppressive countries, and that fiat currencies also have issues with environmental sustainability.”
A total of 232 users, accounting for 71.17% of the total vote, voted in support of the proposal.