The Wikimedia Foundation will no longer accept donations in cryptocurrencies. One of the admins started a survey to find out how his fellow admins still supported crypto donations.
Say no to cryptocurrencies
The question was already asked in January of this year and the answer is a resounding no. About 400 administrators expressed their opinion through the survey. In general, managers are concerned about the environment. More than 70 percent of participating administrators said this is an important topic for them.
The Wikimedia Foundation probably won’t be too sad. In 2021, the foundation said it received $130,000 worth of crypto donations. That same year, the foundation received around $150 million, making cryptocurrency donations only 0.1 percent of the pot.
The marriage between Wikipedia and cryptocurrencies began in 2014. At that time, the website added bitcoin as a method of accepting donations. Wikipedia knelt down and everything was ready. On December 31, 2014, bitcoin was worth around $310. With a little discipline (read: HODL), the foundation could have survived for decades.
While they have received many bitcoin donations over the years since then, it seems that cryptocurrency has fallen out of favor as a donation method for a while now. Wikipedia still accepts cryptocurrencies, but it is no longer listed on the donation page.
Popular methods now include PayPal and credit cards. Crypto-specific donations seem to be relegated to a separate page as a last resort. By using crypto payment provider BitPay, users can donate with bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, or xrp.
Damage to the environment and reputation
So now it has been decided to stop completely with crypto donations. Administrators are concerned about the environment and the adoption of crypto could damage the reputation of the organization.
“Cryptocurrencies are extremely risky investments that are only gaining popularity among private investors,” wrote Wikipedia user GorillaWarfare, who is the original author of the proposal. GorillaWarfare also added: “I don’t think we should condone using it in this way.”
GorillaWarfare could rightly be called an anti-crypto activist. The proposal states: “Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two most widely used cryptocurrencies, and both are proof-of-work, with a large amount of power consumption.” The administrator describes as unsustainable that these alternative currencies continue to exist.
Some administrators have also advocated continuing to accept crypto as a donation, citing the logic that Bitcoin only consumes a lot of power during mining, not during transactions. However, most Wikipedia administrators believe that the foundation should never have accepted crypto.
Flash of lightning!
It could have been that simple, the foundation could also have opted for the Lightning network instead of all those other cryptocurrencies. With this they could still collect a few tons per year, using the most secure network in the world (bitcoin) where the most value is also stored. And perhaps most importantly for administrators, the Lightning Network is incredibly green and sustainable. Countless transactions can be processed per second, at a fraction of the power consumption of other crypto networks.
Not only would that have been good for your own peace of mind, but it would immediately show that the Wikimedia Foundation is progressive and thinks in solutions, not problems.