Community Members Ask Wikimedia Foundation to Ban Cryptocurrency Donations

The Wikimedia contributor community has demanded that the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that funds Wikipedia and other sister projects, stop accepting donations in cryptocurrencies after a three-month debate about the ethics of using the technology.

US software developer Molly White, who edits Wikipedia under the username GorillaWarfare, put forward the proposal on January 10. This led to a period where members could voice their support or disagreement with the idea. The Request for Comments page discussing the proposal closed this week with a total of 232 to 94 members (71.7%) in favor of the ban.

“Therefore, the Wikimedia community is asking the Wikimedia Foundation to stop accepting donations in cryptocurrencies,” the proposal reads in light of the feedback.

The community has cited concerns about environmental sustainability, as well as whether adopting a cryptocurrency equates to endorsing the technology, and possible reputational implications as reasons for the ban.

The foundation currently accepts donations in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). In the last fiscal year, he received over $130,000 in crypto donations. This is only 0.08% of income, making it one of the foundation’s smallest donation channels.

Among the 347 people who chose to donate via cryptocurrency, Bitcoin was the most common option.

Mozilla Changes Direction

The news comes just days after Mozilla mishandled its refusal to accept crypto, stating “we made a mistake, we heard you, and we changed” on its official Twitter account, and announcing plans to resume crypto donations, with the exception of some coins. The Mozilla Foundation suspended the ability to pay in January.

Mozilla’s co-founder is longtime crypto critic Jamie Zawinski , who in a blog post called cryptocurrencies an “apocalyptic environmental disaster”, a “greater fool’s pyramid” and “incredibly toxic to the open web.”

It is one of several groups that have retired from cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology over the past few months following criticism over the environmental impact.

While Mozilla will not accept proof-of-work cryptocurrencies due to environmental concerns, it is currently working on a list of approved payment methods using proof-of-stake cryptocurrencies. The list of cryptocurrencies favorably accepted by Mozilla will be published and implemented by the end of the second quarter of 2022.

Like Mozilla, Wikimedia began accepting cryptocurrency in 2014. It is not yet clear whether she will adhere to the wishes of her community.

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