Wikimedia Foundation dumps ability to accept cryptocurrency for donations

Following a process that saw 71% of users vote on a request for Wikimedia to stop accepting cryptocurrency, the foundation has followed through.

An image of a woman holding a cell phone in front of the Wikipedia logo displayed on a computer screen.

Image: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

At the start of the year, a request was made for Wikimedia, the foundation behind Wikipedia, to stop accepting cryptocurrency.

The debate saw familiar arguments used for and against the proposal: Crypto is an environmental disaster, reputational risk from being seen to approve of ecological destruction and endorsing the crypto community; against claims that proof of stake would fix the environmental concerns and fiat money isn't completely green either, and crypto is safer for anonymous use.

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During the debate, the foundation said in its prior fiscal year, cryptocurrency made up only 0.08% of revenue totalling $130,101, with 347 donors using that payment method, mostly in bitcoin.

When the 400 votes were cast, the result was 232 in favour of the ban against 94 against.

Over the weekend, Wikimedia Foundation chief advancement officer Lisa Seitz-Gruwell posted the foundation's response.

"The Wikimedia Foundation has decided to discontinue direct acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of donating," Seitz-Gruwell said.

"We are making this decision based on recent feedback from those same communities. Specifically, we will be closing our Bitpay account, which will remove our ability to directly accept cryptocurrency as a method of donating."

Seitz-Gruwell added that the foundation would continue to monitor the evolving issue, and the foundation would be "flexible and responsive to the needs of volunteers and donors".

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