Why Wikipedia Editors Aren’t Too Keen On Crypto Donations?

A proposal made by the Wikipedia administrator opted for a vote to know if Wikimedia Foundation would still want to receive cryptocurrency donations.

The answer to which was a reverberant no. This particular debate over the mentioned proposal has been going on since January and the vote was concluded with around 400 participants.

The common point of contention has been environmental concerns, over 71% of the users have participated in the voting that happened from Jan to April 2022.

The foundation had received crypto donations worth  $130,000 in the most recent fiscal year. This made about less than 0.1% of the foundation’s revenue which had stood at $150 million in the previous year.

Wikipedia Foundation Does Not Want To Endorse Crypto At All

The point of conflict for not wanting to endorse cryptocurrency in any form or way is surrounded around the argument that the currency is unsustainable. The unsustainable issue arises from environmental concerns and adopting the same, would cause reputational damage to the organisation.

Cryptocurrencies are extremely risky investments that have only been gaining popularity among retail investors, wrote Wikipedia user GorillaWarfare who is the original author of the proposal, the Wikipedian also added, I do not think we should be endorsing their use in this way.

The Wikipedia Foundation currently accepts donations in cryptocurrencies namely, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum. The decision to accept alternative currency was taken in the year 2014. Crypto, however, happens to have the smallest channel of donations and payments at the moment.

The decision to start accepting alternative payments corresponded with the US Internal Revenue Service which then issued guidance on the same matter.

GorillaWarfare, a Wikipedian and an anti-cryptocurrency activist had mentioned in her proposal that, “Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two most highly used cryptocurrencies, and are both proof-of-work, using an enormous amount of energy.” highlighting the unsustainability of the alternative currency.

Many users also have fought for cryptocurrency to still be accepted as a donation, citing the logic that Bitcoin is energy-intensive only while mining, not during transactions. The majority of users have said that Wikipedia shouldn’t have started to accept cryptocurrencies in the first place, some have even called this move a “Ponzi Scheme”.

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So Where Does Crypto Stand In Terms Of Sustainability?

Cryptocurrency is unsustainable, there are no two ways about that, however, with time cryptocurrencies have attempted to transition to sustainability. The carbon footprint concern tops everything as carbon emissions lead to global warming but Bitcoin recently has made a leap to a greener approach.

Recently backed by Tesla, Block, Bitcoin and blockchain infrastructure company Blockstream have turned to solar power to mine Bitcoin.

The same is quite a revolutionary move made by the companies, this also means that Bitcoin mining can successfully fund zero carbon-emitting power infrastructure. This could later transition into 100% renewable Bitcoin mining, so this development is surely a start.

Many other cryptocurrencies such as Cardano, and Nano rely on much less electricity. Stellar and Algorand are carbon neutral cryptocurrencies to name a few.

This invites a new narrative that organisations such as Wikipedia could start to accept payments via cryptos that are in operation with a greener focus.

It is not necessary to do away with cryptocurrencies altogether, accepting newer and green alternatives will only help organisations get more donations while not hurting the environment. With time and a fair chance given to crypto, things can slowly start to look up.

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Algorand on downward price action on the four-hour chart. Image Source: ALGO/USD on TradingView

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