Wikimedia Voters Support Ban on Crypto Donations


Key Takeaways

  • Wikimedia voters expressed overwhelming opposition to crypto donations in a vote that concluded this week.
  • Concerns were raised around the environmental impact of crypto mining and implicit support for crypto projects.
  • Wikimedia has not said whether it will end crypto donations, but has said that very little of its revenue comes from crypto.

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Contributors to Wikimedia have overwhelmingly voted that the project’s foundation should stop accepting cryptocurrency.

71% of Voters Oppose Crypto Donation

Wikimedia could soon end support for cryptocurrency donations if its foundation complies with the requests of its community.

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One page on the site indicates that 71% of 326 voters expressed support for ending cryptocurrency donations.

Those in favor of ending cryptocurrency donation expressed concerns around the environmental impact of mining, as well as concerns around the implicit endorsement of cryptocurrencies.

Those who supported the continued acceptance of cryptocurrency argued that proof-of-stake cryptocurrencies demand little energy. It was also said that cryptocurrencies provide “safer ways to donate and engage in finance for people in oppressive countries.”

The vote and request for comments on crypto donations began on Jan. 10 and closed on Apr. 12. It took place roughly eight years after Wikimedia first began to accept crypto in 2014.

The Wikimedia Foundation has not made it clear whether it will comply with the request. It did, however, say that cryptocurrency is a very minor part of its funding. Last year, it received $130,100 in crypto from 347 donors, making up just 0.08% of its revenue.

Crypto In the Open Culture Movement

Wikimedia is an umbrella project consisting of sites such as Wikipedia, Wiktionary, MediaWiki, and Wikinews.

Despite a lack of community support, Wikimedia’s founders have shown interest in crypto. In 2021, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales auctioned an NFT to raise funds for his alternative social media site.

Meanwhile, Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger went on to found Everipedia, a blockchain-based encyclopedia forked from Wikipedia. Sanger later resigned as CTO of that project in 2019.

Wikimedia should not be confused with the unrelated whistleblower site Wikileaks. In addition to regular donations, that community raised $41 million of cryptocurrency for Julian Assange this year.

Elsewhere in the open-culture movement, the Mozilla Foundation has experienced backlash for accepting crypto donations. Last week, it announced that it would accept proof-of-stake coins while rejecting mining-based cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Wikimedia Foundation did not immediately respond to Crypto Briefing‘s request for comment.

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Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies.

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