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Wikipedia Community Pushes Back Against Crypto Donations

71% of Wikipedia voters ask the Wikimedia Foundation to stop accepting cryptocurrency donations.

Wikipedia Community Pushes Back Against Crypto Donations

The Wikipedia community doesn’t want your crypto donations.

In a poll between Jan. 10 and Apr. 12, 232 users, or 71% of voters, asked the Wikimedia Foundation to stop accepting cryptocurrency donations.

The Wikimedia Foundation said it will discuss the proposal internally and provide an update by the end of the month.

The proposal, put forward by software developer and Wikipedia editor Molly White, argued that cryptocurrencies are “extremely risky investments”, and that accepting crypto asset donations “signals endorsement of the cryptocurrency space by the Wikimedia Foundation.” 

White added that Proof of Work cryptocurrencies likely do not align with Wikipedia’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

“We risk damaging our reputation by participating in this.”

Wikipedia editor Molly White on accepting crypto donations.

In her proposal, White said that cutting crypto would not cost Wikipedia much in lost donations.  Just 347 people donated $131,100 worth of crypto last year, equating to just 0.08% of its annual revenue of $157M. 

White also noted Mozilla’s early April announcement, in which the Internet non-profit said it will stop accepting Proof of Work coins but would continue to allow donations in Proof of Stake cryptocurrencies. Mozilla had paused crypto donations in January after receiving public pushback over their perceived environmental toll. 

Opponents of the Wikipedia proposal argued that crypto assets offer a safer means for users living under financially oppressive regimes to contribute, and that Proof of Stake assets alleviate concerns regarding the environmental footprint associated with digital assets.

Wikipedia first started accepting Bitcoin donations in 2014 in response to community demand and tax guidance from the IRS. The site converts all crypto donations into U.S. dollars upon receipt.

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