Wikipedia bans cryptocurrency donations

The Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization behind Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, has ended cryptocurrency donations, according to a recent announcement by contributor Molly White.

The decision was made based on feedback received from the community.

The foundation started accepting bitcoins in July 2014 to return donations”as simple and inclusive as possible.She initially relied on the Coinbase exchange for transaction processing before moving to BitPay. The organization has also added Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash to the list of available cryptocurrencies.

Wikipedia editors voted overwhelmingly to suspend cryptocurrency donations earlier this month. The proposal submitted by Molly White argues that Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two largest proof-of-work cryptocurrencies, pose a threat to the foundation’s environmental sustainability goals. Bitcoin consumes 204.5 terawatt hours of electricity per year.

The proposal also argues that supporting highly volatile investments poses reputational risks to the foundation.

Cryptocurrency donations accounted for just 0.08% of total contributions in 2021, so the ban will not have a significant impact on the foundation. Nonetheless, the foundation appears to have left the door open for another attempt at cryptocurrency donations in the future, adding that it “will continue to monitor this issue.”

The Mozilla Foundation, which suspended cryptocurrency donations in early 2022 due to strong backlash, decided to resume them in April. However, it will only accept environmentally friendly proof-of-stake cryptocurrencies, which means Mozilla users will not be able to donate bitcoin.

In February, a British animal welfare organization recently announced that it would no longer accept cryptocurrencies due to climate concerns.

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