While some companies are getting deeper into crypto, it seems others are distancing themselves as much as possible. The Wikimedia Foundation, the body behind the popular Wikipedia, has stopped accepting donations in cryptocurrencies.
The Wikimedia Foundation accepts donations to run Wikipedia, and it has been accepting money in cryptocurrencies to get on with the times. However, the organization has decided to stop accepting bitcoin. It will close its Bitpay account.
The decision came after deliberation among about 400 members of the organization. When put to the vote, 234 members agreed to do away with it, while 90 wanted to retain it.
The concerns about cryptos were rooted in environmental consequences, scamming risks, and the donation coming through cryptos being very small compared to other payment methods. Last year, the WMF only got $130,100.94 worth of crypto, which was less the 0.1 percent of total donations.
Wikipedia started accepting donations in crypto in 2014, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ether. However, Molly White, a Wikipedia editor and creator of “Web3 Is Going Great,” suggested the WMF stop accepting crypto early this year. She contended that the body’s stand on environmental issues is in contradiction to the side effects of mining cryptos and the “inherently predatory” nature of bitcoin investments.
Mozilla also stopped accepting bitcoin last month, which White referenced in her proposal. Mozilla had received a lot of backlash that prompted it to reevaluate its stance on crypto after Jamie Zawinski, one of the founders, tweeted a reminder about crypto donations.
“I’m really happy that the Wikimedia Foundation implemented the request from its community, and I’m really proud of my community for making what I feel was the ethical decision after a lot of thoughtful discussions,” White said in a statement to The Verge. “There are just too many issues with crypto for any potential donation revenue to be worth the cost of helping to legitimize it.”
However, it seems the WMF is leaving the door open for reviewing the decision in the future, as it says it will continue to monitor the issue and remain flexible and responsive to the needs of volunteers and donors.