Requests for comment on a proposal asking the Wikimedia Foundation to stop accepting cryptocurrency donations have closed, with a majority of users voting in favour.
According to a Tuesday update on the proposal, about 71%, or 232 out of 326 Wikimedia contributors who responded, called for the Wikimedia Foundation — the nonprofit organization that hosts Wikipedia — to stop accepting cryptocurrency donations. Arguments for the proposal included environmental concerns surrounding Bitcoin (BTC) transactions and “the risk to the movement’s reputation from cryptocurrency acceptance.”
The community first opened the proposal for comment on Jan. 10, expanding the discussion to include topics such as El Salvador’s adoption of BTC as legal tender, crypto as a tool for illicit financial activity, and the role of digital assets in financial inclusion. However, the majority of topics seemed to focus on energy consumption and the potential environmental impact of cryptocurrencies.
“Cryptocurrencies may not align with the Wikimedia Foundation’s commitment to environmental sustainability,” the original proposal reads. “Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two most used cryptocurrencies and are both proof of work as they consume a tremendous amount of energy […] The current models are still extremely harmful to the environment. While there are greener cryptocurrencies, they are less common.”
Arguments against the proposal included proof-of-stake cryptocurrencies that were “much less energy intensive” and the use of tokens to “donate safer ways and engage in finance to people in repressive countries.” One user cited the Ukrainian government’s acceptance of crypto donations as an argument against the technology having a bad reputation.
“Crypto should remain an option for Wikimedia to accept donations,” said user C933103 on March 14. “Wikimedia accepts donations in crypto but does not issue crypto. When a country’s law prohibits donations to [the Wikimedia Foundation, or WMF] By banks then the country is at fault not WMF. Accepting donations instead of spending them also means that they are not used to enable new economic activities that could be the target of sanctions, or to fund other illegal activities, since all currencies received are immediately fiat in WMF’s account -Currency to be converted. ”
What’s that rumbling in the distance slowly getting louder you ask?
It’s the onslaught of crypto-zealots who have never donated to the Wikimedia Foundation and are yelling, “I’ll take my money elsewhere!”
— Molly White (@molly0xFFF) April 13, 2022
However, Wikimedia contributor TrueAnonyman supported the suggestion, adding:
“The financial impact of not accepting crypto donations would be minimal and would be far outweighed by the reputational damage to the Wikimedia project seen as supporting a technology so deeply linked to various environmental and social harms.”
Related: Wiki continues to accept crypto donations despite pressure to stop
The foundation reported in January that it received around $130,000 in crypto donations over the last fiscal year, which is about 0.08% of its revenue. Bitcoin was the most used cryptocurrency among the 347 donors, but the nonprofit also accepts Ether (ETH) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
https://cointelegraph.com/news/wikimedia-community-supports-proposal-to-stop-foundation-from-accepting-crypto-donations The Wikimedia community supports the proposal to block the foundation from accepting crypto donations