The Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), the organization behind Wikipedia, has announced that it will no longer accept cryptocurrency donations. The Foundation states that it has "decided to discontinue the immediate acceptance of cryptocurrencies as a means of donation" and that it will close its Bitpay account, preventing any future contributions to cryptocurrencies.
After a lengthy discussion with the nearly 400 members of the WMF community, the majority (234 to 94) voted to stop cryptocurrency contributions. Some of the main arguments concerned the environmental impact of Bitcoin, the risk of fraud, and the fact that the WMF receives such a low amount of cryptocurrency donations compared to other forms of payment.
The WMF reports that it received $ 130.100,94 in cryptocurrency donations in 2021, representing just 0,08 percent of the total contributions it received.
WMF first started accepting Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ether donations in 2014, but some issues prompted the organization to re-evaluate this policy. THE Molly White, a longtime Wikipedia author and creator of Web3 Is Going Just Great, suggested to the WMF that it stop cryptocurrency donations in January, arguing that it runs counter to the agency's commitment to environmental sustainability and also investments.
White (GorillaWarfare on Wikipedia) also reported Mozilla re-evaluating its involvement in the encryption space. Mozilla finally decided to stop cryptocurrency donations in April after receiving reactions from many users, developers and one of its founders, Jamie Zawinski, for posting a tweet reminding users that it accepts Bitcoin and Ethereum donations.
"I'm really happy that the Wikimedia Foundation has fulfilled its community's request, and I'm really proud of our community for making the ethical decision after so much discussion," White said.
The WMF is over his update saying that "it will continue to monitor this issue" and that "it will remain flexible to meet the needs of volunteers and donors".