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Wikimedia Community Votes to Stop Accepting Donations via Cryptocurrency

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Wikimedia’s community overwhelmingly voted in favor of a proposal for the Wikimedia Foundation, which supports Wikipedia, to stop accepting donations via cryptocurrency.

Members of the Wikimedia community debated this issue in the Meta-Wiki devoted to the Wikimedia Foundation’s projects in a request for comment that ran from Jan. 10 to April 12.

Meta-Wiki administrator “Vermont” says that 232 people voted for the Wikimedia Foundation to stop accepting cryptocurrency donations; 94 people voted for those donations to continue.

Vermont summarized the months-long debate about this issue with the following:

“Common arguments in support include: issues of environmental sustainability, that accepting cryptocurrencies constitutes implicit endorsement of the issues surrounding cryptocurrencies, and community issues with the risk to the movement’s reputation for accepting cryptocurrencies.

Common arguments in opposition include: the existence of less energy-intensive cryptocurrencies (proof-of-stake), that cryptocurrencies provide safer ways to donate and engage in finance for people in oppressive countries, and that fiat currencies also have issues with environmental sustainability.”

Environmental concerns previously led Mozilla to halt cryptocurrency-based donations and caused Tesla to stop accepting pre-orders for its electric vehicles with Bitcoin.

Other concerns about being associated with cryptocurrency mostly seem to revolve around the frequency with which crypto projects turn out to be scams or get-rich-quick schemes.

Vermont says the results of the request for comment “indicate overall community support, with a significant minority in opposition,” which means “the Wikimedia community requests that the Wikimedia Foundation stop accepting cryptocurrency donations.”

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In a statement provided to Ars Technica, the Wikimedia Foundation said its fundraising team is “reviewing the request and related discussions and we will provide additional information once they complete that process.”

Not that it will make too much of a difference to the Wikimedia Foundation: Ars notes that the $130,000 in cryptocurrency-based donations the foundation received in 2021 is less than 0.1% of the $150 million in revenues it brought in during that same time period.

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