On the latest Bitcoin news and Ethereum news, Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia’s parent organization, has announced that it will not be accepting donations in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. This comes after a three-month debate on the advantages and disadvantages of crypto.
During the three months-long debate, the challenges and promises of crypto such as Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum classic were discussed, and a voting exercise involving 400 Wikipedia editors was conducted.
232 of these editors (which is more than 70%) supported the idea of discontinuing the acceptance of donations in the form of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Only 94 editors wanted the foundation to continue accepting Bitcoin and Ethereum donations, while 75 editors were excluded from the voting exercise.
“The Wikimedia Foundation has decided to discontinue direct acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of donating … We are making this decision based on recent feedback from those communities (volunteers and donors),” the foundation said in a statement.
The idea to stop accepting donations in Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies was first raised in January by a Wikipedia editor going by the name Vermont.
The proposal read, “Cryptocurrencies are extremely risky investments that have only been gaining popularity among retail investors particularly in recent times, and I do not think we should be endorsing their use in this way. In accepting them, I believe we are mainstreaming the usage of “investments” and technology that are inherently predatory.”
They cited the impact of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum on the environment. Bitcoin mining and Ethereum mining are known to have impacts on the environment such as high consumption of electricity and poisonous emissions.
“Environmental sustainability, that accepting cryptocurrencies constitutes an implicit endorsement of the issues surrounding cryptocurrencies, and community issues with the risk to the movement’s reputation for accepting cryptocurrencies,” continued the proposal.
Those opposing the decision to stop accepting Bitcoin and Ethereum donations argued about the availability of less energy-intensive cryptocurrencies and other benefits of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum classic, including providing safer ways of making donations, engaging people residing in oppressive countries in finance, and that fiat currencies such as US dollars also have an impact on environmental sustainability.
Vermont stated that continuing to accept Bitcoin and Ethereum donations risks damaging the reputation of the foundation. Vermont also gave the example of the Mozilla web browser, which is re-evaluating its decision to start accepting cryptocurrency donations after receiving a huge backlash from its supporters.
However, the company is yet to stop cryptocurrency payments. In a blog post, Mozilla said they will only accept proof of stake crypto and not Proof of Work cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and Ethereum. Both Bitcoin and Ethereum use the “proof of work” concept, whereby miners compete to solve complex mathematical problems, a process known as Ethereum or Bitcoin mining.
When a miner successfully solves a mathematical problem, they validate the latest transactions’ block in the blockchain, and they earn coins in their Ethereum or Bitcoin wallet as a reward.
This process requires more computing power, which in turn consumes energy at a very high rate. Ethereum is considering switching from this concept to the more environmentally friendly “proof of stake” concept, in which transaction validators are only required to “stake” Ether coins. However, this switch has taken a long time, and the Ethereum team has not given a specific date on when it will happen.
This crypto news comes at a time when Bitcoin price and Ethereum price have made a slippage (check bitcoin price today). Despite that, experts are predicting an increase in both Ethereum and Bitcoin value.
The foundation started accepting Bitcoin in 2014. Their reasoning was that accepting Bitcoin as a donation will make it simple and inclusive to contribute to Wikimedia. Historically, Wikipedia has put in efforts to become a global platform, and its content is currently available in 326 different languages.
Initially, the foundation partnered with Coinbase to facilitate the acceptance of Bitcoin donations but it switched to Bitpay in a bid to accept donations in more cryptocurrencies.
But Wikimedia’s acceptance of Bitcoin and Ethereum has not been much beneficial to the foundation. In 2021, it only received cryptocurrency donations from 347 different donors. The foundation’s Community Relations Expert Julia Brungs stated that cryptocurrency donations only constituted 0.08% of the total donations received in the year.
She also stated that they have never “held cryptocurrency,” which means that once they receive donations in the form of cryptocurrency, they convert them into dollars. For example, Bitcoin to USD or Ethereum to USD.
“In the last financial year, the most used cryptocurrency was Bitcoin. We have never held cryptocurrency, and spot-convert donations daily into fiat currency (USD), which doesn’t have a significant environmental impact,” Brungs wrote in January.
Although Wikimedia has made the move to stop accepting Bitcoin and Ethereum donations, they have agreed to continue monitoring the issue and be flexible and responsive enough to the needs of donors and volunteers.