Wikipedia stops accepting cryptocurrency donations due to environmental and other reasons
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Wikipedia stops accepting cryptocurrency donations due to environmental and other reasons.
Wikimedia, the non-profit foundation that runs Wikipedia, decided to stop accepting cryptocurrency donations during a three-month debate where the environmental impact of bitcoin was a major point of discussion.
The decision is in response to a community vote initiated by contributor Molly White, who goes by the online name GorillaWarfare.
She believes that accepting donations in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, bitcoin cash and ethereum signifies an endorsement of digital currencies, which are “inherently predatory” as an investment, and aligns with the foundation’s commitment to environmental sustainability inconsistent.
Excluding new accounts and unregistered users, of the less than 400 users who voted, 232 to 94, or 71.17%, support no longer accepting cryptocurrencies, some details from the discussion are as follows:
- White believes that Wikipedia risks damaging its reputation by accepting cryptocurrency donations, citing a decision by nonprofit peer Mozilla earlier this year to suspend accepting cryptocurrency donations.
- Wikimedia currently accepts Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash through BitPay. In particular, White noted that Bitcoin and Ethereum require a lot of energy, and alternatives can be found in other “eco-friendly” cryptocurrencies, albeit on a smaller scale.
- Cryptocurrency miners use enormous computing power to verify transactions using PoW, which has been criticized as environmentally damaging.
- However, miners have been aggressively fighting back against this criticism, using more sustainable energy sources for their mining operations. Additionally, Bitcoin proponents argue that miners can help drive the transition to clean energy.
- Meanwhile, the ethereum network has struggled to transition to a “proof-of-stake” model of validating transactions that uses less energy, although the transition faces long-term delays.
- Wikimedia, after announcing the cessation of cryptocurrency-related fundraising, also said it remains open to the possibility of resuming acceptance of improved cryptocurrency donations in the future, saying it will continue to monitor the situation.
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