Users’ Requests Force Wikipedia To Stop Accepting Crypto Donations

After accepting crypto donations for nearly a decade, Wikipedia has halted crypto donations following discontent by the Wikipedia community. The Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), the NGO that runs the popular internet encyclopedia, Wikipedia, has been embroiled in various discussions with its community members over the decision to keep accepting crypto donations.

Discussions Have Been Ongoing Since The Beginning Of The Year. 

Eventually, Wikimedia decided on April 12 to no longer receive crypto donations. Some of the cryptos that the WMF has received include BTC, ETH, and BCH. One of the site’s editors, Molly White, spearheaded the community’s stance in forcing the WMF to stop accepting donations in the form of crypto.

Eventually, the WMF decided it was best for the community to determine via vote. The vote took place on the 12th of last month, with over 70% of the community supporting White’s stance. The community members argued that crypto endangers the environment. Hence, if Wikipedia is accepting crypto donations in crypto, it is also contributing some quota to endangering the environment.

Even though new community members were deemed ineligible to vote, nearly 400 community members still voted over the issue. Out of the 400 members that voted, 232 of them (representing nearly 72% of the total community members) supported the motion not to accept crypto donations, while the remaining opposed it. Hence, the WMF discontinued the acceptance of crypto donations.

Stopping An 8-Year Old Policy

On Sunday, Molly White shared the decision of the WMF on Twitter, saying, “the Wikimedia foundation will no longer accept crypto donations. The decision came after requests from the community members and subsequent approval via a voting process. The WMF and the community have discussed the matter for three months, but a decision was reached about two weeks ago.” 

Molina referenced Wikipedia’s official statement regarding the matter. While announcing the discontinuation of crypto donations, the WMF stated that it had started receiving crypto payments eight years ago following a request and approval by the Wikipedia community.

The statement added that the WMF would shut down its Bitpay account to prevent future crypto donations. But, the WMF hinted that the matter isn’t closed permanently yet, saying “it’s still an evolving matter.”

0.08% Of WMF’s 2021 Revenue Was Through Cryptos

Molly White instigated the argument in the Wikipedia community when she requested the total amount of crypto donations the WMF has received. The WMF stated that it received about $132K worth of cryptos last year, representing 0.08% of its revenue.

WMF added that even though BTC donations represented a considerable portion of the donations, all the cryptos received have been swapped for the fiat USD. Despite the explanation, many members insisted that the WMF needed to stop accepting crypto donations, arguing about the energy consumption rate involved in crypto mining. 

The members started comparing cryptos that operate on PoS against those that run on PoW. Many of them agreed that PoS blockchains consume less energy than PoW. Further debate ensued regarding other issues associated with crypto use. Some of the topics discussed include how crypto is solving the problem of the apex banks’ fiat currency system, the crypto ban in Russia and China, fake and anonymous donations, and the use of cryptos for illegal purposes.

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