More than 200 Wikipedia editors have requested the Wikimedia Foundation stop accepting cryptocurrency donations. This comes after Wikipedia started accepting donations and faced backlash from several users as well as its own community members.
After a sprawling three month long discussion, where the pitfalls and promises of cryptocurrencies were discussed, a voting was done where 400 Wikipedia editors participated, out of which 232 users—71.7 per cent were in support of the proposal to stop crypto donations and 94 editors voted for crypto donations, others (75 users) were excluded from voting, on the account of unregistered users.
According to the information posted by a Wikipedian, who goes by the username ‘Vermont’, the Wikimedia foundation received crypto donations worth $130,000 in the most recent fiscal year, which is evidently less than 0.1 percent of the foundation’s revenue, which topped $150 million last year. In the last financial years, Wikipedia had 347 donors who used the cryptocurrency option—and Bitcoin was the most common used mode for payment via crypto.
Further, Vermont summarized the common arguments that occurred in the 3 month long period.
Common arguments in support included issues of “environmental sustainability, that accepting cryptocurrencies constitutes implicit endorsement of the issues surrounding cryptocurrencies, and community issues with the risk to the movement’s reputation for accepting cryptocurrencies,” Vermont wrote in a Wikipedia post.
Meanwhile, the opposition argued about the existence of less energy-intensive cryptocurrencies (proof-of-stake), that cryptocurrencies provide safer ways to donate and engage in finance for people in oppressive countries, and that fiat currencies also have issues with environmental sustainability.
The proposal to first stop crypto was signaled in January. The proposal was sent out by Vermont. “Wikimedia editors read: Cryptocurrencies are extremely risky investments that have only been gaining popularity among retail investors particularly in recent times, and I do not think we should be endorsing their use in this way. In accepting them, I believe we are mainstreaming the usage of “investments” and technology that are inherently predatory,” the proposal read.
According to Vermont, accepting crypto means risk damaging our reputation by participating in this. The Wikipedian also gave an example of Mozilla, a popular web browser which is re-evaluating their choice to accept cryptocurrency donations after considerable backlash from their supporters.
However, a few days ago, Mozilla has continued payments in cryptocurrency. The company in a blog post said it would only allow Proof of Stake cryptocurrency, as oppose to Proof of Work cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, etc.