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Wikimedia Foundation stops accepting crypto donations

Wikimedia Foundation stops accepting crypto donations
Photo Credit: Pixabay
2 May, 2022
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The Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), the organisation that runs the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, will no longer accept donations in the form of cryptocurrency.

The decision was made based on a vote concluded on April 12 where over 70% of the community voted to “discontinue direct acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of donating.” 

The Wikimedia community is made up of editors and other contributors to the free encyclopaedia who also participate in the governance of the foundation. 

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“The Wikimedia Foundation has decided to stop accepting cryptocurrency donations. The decision was made based on a community request that the WMF no longer accept crypto donations, which came out of a three-month-long discussion that wrapped up earlier this month,” said long-time Wikipedia editor Molly White in a statement.

“Wikimedia said it would close its account with Bitpay, the crypto payment service provider which Wikimedia used to collect cryptocurrency donations,” said its official page.

The WMF began accepting crypto donations in 2014 in response to community requests, eventually accepting Bitcoin, Ether, Ripple, Dogecoin and stablecoins. The foundation reported $130,000 worth of crypto donations in the last financial year, or 0.08% of total donations.

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On the Wikimedia discussion page, crypto critics made their case concerning crypto donations to Wikipedia. The decision to discontinue crypto donations was linked to concerns about the environmental sustainability of the proof-of-work process, price volatility, and perceived reputational damage to the WMF.

Most critics argued that Wikipedia should stop accepting crypto donations due to environmental concerns. Another popular argument against crypto was that Wikipedia was legitimising and implicitly promoting a predatory system.

In response to this, the Wikimedia Foundation said it would continue to monitor the situation, possibly keeping the door open to a future where it did accept crypto donations once again. At present, however, the critics of cryptocurrency and the broader Wiki community emerged victorious.  

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