After questioning its users, the Wikimedia Foundation, which manages and publishes the Wikipedia project, has decided to stop donating cryptocurrencies, leading to the termination of its BitPay account. This vote was also an opportunity to recall some of the endemic shortcomings of cryptocurrencies, in particular their environmental impact and their cult of secrecy.
In early 2022, several members of the Wikimedia Foundation, which publishes and operates the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, submitted a request to the foundation to stop accepting donations in cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrencies are an environmental disaster
The plaintiffs pointed out that these cryptocurrency donations represent only a tiny fraction of the fund’s income, exactly 0.08%, or $130,101, sent by only 347 donors and only in bitcoin.
The request also indicated that cryptocurrencies were particularly useful in a case of use requiring the anonymity of the payer, which does not appear to be the case for the Wikimedia donation, but above all, they had an absolute impact on the environment. catastrophic.
Cryptocurrency mining really consumes an astronomical amount of electricity – this is one of the reasons why China banned mining on its territory. And, for now, the services they can provide to society absolutely do not compensate (but ABSOLUTELY NOT) this energy debauchery.
Widespread approval to end cryptocurrency donations to Wikimedia and Wikipedia
The result of the vote was not surprising. Of the 400 voters, 232 voted in favor of the ban, 94 against. This is 71% approval. The foundation drew the necessary conclusions: “The Wikimedia Foundation has decided to no longer accept cryptocurrencies directly as a means of donation,” said Lisa Seitz-Gruwell, director of fund promotion.
“In particular, we will close our Bitpay account, which will remove our ability to directly accept cryptocurrency as a donation method,” she said, while acknowledging that the fund will remain “flexible and responsive to the needs of volunteers and donors.”