Representatives of the Wikimedia Foundation reported that 71% of community members voted to stop accepting donations in cryptocurrency. The foundation that runs Wikipedia began accepting cryptocurrency back in 2014, following requests from volunteers and donors, but this practice will now be abandoned.
Back in early 2022, a request was submitted to Wikimedia representatives to stop accepting donations in cryptocurrency. During the debate, community members went over all the well-known arguments for and against. Opponents pointed out that cryptocurrency is an environmental disaster, and also noted the reputational risks that the Foundation bears due to the approval of environmental damage and the support of the crypto community. Cryptocurrency advocates, on the contrary, wrote that proof of stake solves environmental problems, fiat money cannot be called completely “green” either, and cryptocurrency is generally safer for anonymous use.
During the debate, Wikimedia representatives reported that in the previous fiscal year, cryptocurrency donations accounted for only 0.08% ($130,101) of the total, and only 347 donors used this method, mostly preferring bitcoin.
As a result, 400 people voted on this request, and 232 participants spoke in favor of the ban, while 94 were against it.
Finally, over the weekend, Wikimedia Foundation Chief Development Officer Lisa Seitz-Gruwell released an official response that reads:
“The Wikimedia Foundation has decided to stop directly accepting cryptocurrencies as donations. We started accepting cryptocurrency directly in 2014 at the request of our volunteers and donors. We are now making this decision based on recent feedback from these same communities. Specifically, we will be closing our Bitpay account, which will make it impossible for us to directly accept cryptocurrencies as donations.”
Seitz-Gruwell added that Wikimedia will continue to monitor developments and that the Foundation will remain “flexible and responsive to the needs of volunteers and donors” in the future.