The Wikimedia Foundation faces pressure from users to accept donations in cryptocurrency.
As early as 2019, the Wikimedia Foundation began accepting cryptocurrency donations through BitPay, but three years later, the nonprofit behind Wikipedia is facing pressure from taxpayers to deactivate the option due to environmental concerns.
A proposal submitted by Molly White (GorillaWarfare) urges the foundation to stop accepting cryptocurrencies. According to White, the acceptance of crypto is not in line with Wikimedia’s commitments to make active efforts to improve environmental sustainability.
White suggested that the acceptance of crypto resonates as an “endorsement of the cryptocurrency space” by Wikimedia and its members, while noting that there are risks of damaging the organization’s reputation due to its continued acceptance of crypto.
Discussions broke out immediately. Wiki user Gamaliel supported the proposal. “It should have been done for a long time. Accepting cryptocurrencies makes a joke of the WMF’s commitment to environmental sustainability,” he wrote.
On the other hand, Wiki user ATDT said it is hard to believe that “continuing to accept donations in cryptocurrency in 2022 is an especially significant sign.” The user pointed out that, following this line of thinking, “accepting USD is a sign of support for the systems of exploitation of labor and the dispossession of the natural environment that underlie global capitalism.”
While many are opposed to disabling cryptocurrency donations, at the time of this writing they are more numerous. However, the page notes that a decision will not be made based on what the majority wants. Instead, an agreement will be made based on the merits of the arguments presented.
Mozilla’s decision to suspend crypto donations was also cited in the debate. Last week, Mozilla co-founder Jamie Zawinski publicly objected to the Mozilla Foundation continuing to accept cryptocurrency donations to support his browser. After seeing a tweet reminding users that the platform accepted crypto, Zawinski urged the company to stop associating with “Ponzi scammers who incinerate the planet.”