The online pushback against proof-of-work cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin shows no sign of letting up. A three-month-long poll conducted by the Wikimedia Foundation, which oversees funding for Wikipedia, found that a large majority of community members are against donations made in cryptocurrencies.
Last week, Mozilla announced that it would no longer accept proof-of-work cryptocurrencies for donations, citing the high energy usage. Instead, it would only receive proof-of-stake cryptocurrencies, which are less energy intensive.
The Wikimedia Foundation ran a community poll from January 10 to April 12 that asked whether it should stop accepting cryptocurrency donations.
Among 326 voters, 71.17% (232 vs. 94) said yes. “These results indicate overall community support, with a significant minority in opposition. Thus, the Wikimedia community requests that the Wikimedia Foundation stop accepting cryptocurrency donations,” wrote Wikipedia administrator and steward “Vermont.”
The Wikimedia Foundation created the poll after Molly White, a longtime Wikipedia editor under the username GorillaWarfare, submitted a proposal to end crypto donations.
what’s that rumbling noise in the distance, slowly growing louder, you ask?
it is the stampede of crypto zealots who have never once donated to the wikimedia foundation, shouting “guess i’ll take my money elsewhere!”
The Wikimedia Foundation began accepting Bitcoin in 2014, receiving $140,000 in the first week. Wikimedia reported that in the last fiscal year, the organization received just over $130,000 in crypto donations, from 347 donors, less than 1% of its 2021 revenue. Most of those donations were BTC.
“We have never held cryptocurrency, and spot-convert donations daily into fiat currency (USD), which doesn’t have a significant environmental impact,” Julia Brungs of the Wikimedia Foundation wrote in a blog post.
Many critics of cryptocurrencies point to the massive amounts of energy used to create and maintain digital currencies and their support networks. That environmental impact has become a rallying cry for a vocal anti-NFT movement in gaming.
In January, a reminder by Mozilla that it accepts donations in cryptocurrencies on Twitter was met with swift backlash, including from Mozilla co-founder Jamie Zawinski, who called those involved with crypto “planet-incinerating Ponzi grifters.”
Hi, I’m sure that whoever runs this account has no idea who I am, but I founded @mozilla and I’m here to say fuck you and fuck this. Everyone involved in the project should be witheringly ashamed of this decision to partner with planet-incinerating Ponzi grifters.
But crypto supporters are quick to point out the good it’s done. Since February, over $100 million in crypto has been donated to the Ukrainian government and NGOs there after Russia’s invasion. That figure includes $2.5 million in ETH from Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin.
“Crypto proved to be a real lifesaver thanks to its ease of use. We at @mintsyfra made crypto donations even easier,” tweeted Alex Bornyakov, Ukraine’s deputy minister of digital transformation.
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