Wikipedia Stops Accepting Cryptocurrency Donations Citing Community’s Environmental Concerns – After eight years of accepting cryptocurrency donations, Wikipedia has decided to stop. The decision was made in response to a request from the Wikimedia community, which cited environmental sustainability as a major factor.
The Wikimedia Foundation has decided to “stop accepting cryptocurrency directly as a form of donation.” The charity began accepting bitcoin in July of 2014.
The Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit organization that runs Wikipedia and other free knowledge initiatives, according to its website. According to the foundation, Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia with over 200K volunteer contributors.
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On May 1, the organization updated its Wikipedia page, stating:
“We began accepting cryptocurrency directly in 2014 in response to concerns from our volunteer and donor communities. This decision is being made based on recent feedback from the same communities.”
“Specifically, we will be deactivating our Bitpay account,” the update reads, “which will stop us from directly receiving bitcoins as a form of donation.”
Molly White, a Wikipedia editor, stated on Sunday that the decision was reached after a three-month debate that began on Jan. 10. On April 12, the conversation came to a close. “Though some were single-purpose accounts made expressly for the discussion (primarily to try to convince the RfC [Request for Comments] against making this request),” she wrote, “400 users engaged in total.”
Common arguments in favor of stopping accepting crypto donations, according to the Wikimedia community’s request for comments page, include “issues of environmental sustainability,” “accepting cryptocurrencies constitutes implicit acceptance of the issues surrounding cryptocurrencies,” and “community issues with the risk to the movement’s reputation for accepting cryptocurrencies.”
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On the other hand, common arguments against accepting crypto donations include “the emergence of less energy-intensive cryptocurrencies (proof-of-stake), that cryptocurrencies give better methods to contribute and engage in finance for people in oppressive countries, and that fiat currencies have environmental sustainability issues.”