The Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization that runs Wikipedia and several other “Wiki”-branded online reference tools, announced on May 1 that it would no longer accept donations in the form of cryptocurrency, citing ethical and environmental concerns about the payments using blockchain currencies.

The decision follows from a proposal by longtime Wikipedia editor Molly White, who also runs Web3 Is Going Great, a blog that criticizes cryptocurrencies and identifies scams within the cryptocurrency sphere. In her statement, White claims that cryptocurrency is “inherently predatory” and “extremely risky,” as well as a liability for the climate.

The final vote came to 232 in favor of ditching crypto, compared to 94 votes against—the Wikimedia Foundation said it took the measure of discounting votes from new and/or unregistered accounts from the final result.

“The Wikimedia Foundation has decided to discontinue direct acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of donating,” the organization wrote. “We began our direct acceptance of cryptocurrency in 2014 based on requests from our volunteers and donor communities. We are making this decision based on recent feedback from those same communities.”

The Wikimedia Foundation has accepted donations in the form of cryptocurrency since 2014. However, cryptocurrency donations constitute only a small portion of the organization’s income. Last year, Wikipedia received $130,100.94 in cryptocurrency donations from 347 donors, constituting just 0.08 percent of the its revenue.

White has complained that the discussion to suspend cryptocurrency donations was subjected to “brigading,” or coordinated attempts to manipulate results, from members of the cryptocurrency community. White has accused these proponents of hypocrisy, suggesting that their efforts to “force” Wikimedia Foundation to accept cryptocurrency are at odds with their stated ethos of self-governance and individual agency.

The decision by the Wikimedia Foundation comes several months after the Mozilla Foundation announced in January it would pause accepting cryptocurrency while it evaluated if the technology could be consistent with their climate goals.

With electric car manufacturer Tesla also having ditched cryptocurrency payments for climate-related reasons only months after introducing them, it seems that many companies have come under increasing pressure to distance themselves from decentralized blockchain currencies, as the backlash to crypto becomes more prominent in discourses online and in tech.


Nicholas Dolinger is a business reporter for The Epoch Times and creator of “The Beautiful Toilet” podcast.

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