Wikipedia Ditches Crypto Donations
According to a post published on May 1, the non-profit organization Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), which oversees the operation of Wikipedia and other pertinent projects, decided to follow “a formal request from the community that the WMF no longer accept such donations, a request that came from three months of discussion among members of the community.”
Per that request, Wikipedia editors and other members of the Wikimedia communities completed a three-month-long discussion of whether the WMF should continue to accept donations in crypto. The arguments in favor of such a ban included “environmental sustainability, endorsement of the issues surrounding cryptocurrencies, and community issues with the risk to the movement’s reputation for accepting cryptocurrencies.”
As a result of the vote, 71.17% supported the proposal to discard crypto payments.
Longtime Wikipedia editor and crypto skeptic Molly White commented on the decision, saying that “I'm really happy that the Wikimedia Foundation listened to the community's wishes on this issue, and I'm really proud of my community for taking a principled stand. It can be difficult when there's money on the line—certainly an issue that I've seen everywhere in the crypto space—and it's refreshing to see both the Foundation and the community do so in this case."
The WMF has accepted crypto donations via BitPay since 2014, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Ripple (XRP), Litecoin, Dogecoin, and the DAI and USDC stablecoins. Back then, the crypto community put significant pressure on the WMF to accept the payments in virtual currency.
However, this type of payment has failed to garner attention. According to the Foundation, in the last fiscal year, the WMF received about $130,000 worth of crypto donations: "Crypto was around 0.08% of our revenue last year, and it remains one of our smallest revenue channels."
The arguments in favor of parting with the crypto donations seem to include allusions to the currencies ending up in the limelight of various illicit activities. Just recently, a group of hackers managed to steal over $600 million worth of crypto from the Ronin bridge network.
Cryptocurrencies’ volatility and significant impact on the environment, with mining being described as one of the chief culprits of CO2 emissions worldwide, might also have played a role.
To tackle the ramifications, the crypto industry has already pledged to reduce 100% of its carbon emissions by 2030.