Wikipedia Stops Accepting Cryptocurrency Donations

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The community no longer wants cryptocurrency donations. 

Wikimedia Community Has Decided 

Wikimedia is a non-profit foundation that runs Wikipedia. It just announced that it’s no longer accepting donations in cryptocurrency. The decision was made after over 200 Wikipedia editors requested that the foundation stop accepting crypto donations. 

In the recent fiscal year, the foundation received $130,000 worth of crypto donations. It’s less than 0.1 percent of its foundation. 

3-Month Discussion 

Before the decision, the community had a three-month discourse on whether or not to continue accepting crypto as a way of donating. The foundation started to accept cryptocurrency in 2014 from its volunteers and donors. 

It would close its Bitpay account. It is used to collect cryptocurrency donations. 

Risky Investment

One of the editors stated that cryptocurrencies are risky investments because they are still new. Some editors think that cryptocurrencies use an enormous amount of energy. Bitcoin consumes 200 terawatt-hours of energy every year. It’s the same energy consumed by millions of people in Thailand. Per Bitcoin transaction, it needs 2,000 kilowatt-hours. 

However, the defenders of Bitcoin stated that energy usage is the result of the mining process. Thus, regardless of the transactions, it uses the same amount of energy. In that case, it doesn’t necessarily boost carbon emissions when the foundation accepts donations in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. 

Critics of crypto argued that if the foundation would endorse it, it may push the cryptocurrencies’ prices. If that happens, more crypto miners will create new coins, thereby, increasing energy consumption. 

But people can convert their cryptocurrencies to dollars before they donate them. However, with the US tax law, donating an asset directly to a charity will offer advantages. 

The defenders of cryptocurrencies pointed out that other people can’t access conventional banking services. Some of them don’t have government IDs so they can’t easily transact or open a bank account. 

It took three months for the community to decide to stop accepting cryptocurrencies in donations. 

In a statement to The Verge:

“I’m really happy that the Wikimedia Foundation implemented the request from its community, and I’m really proud of my community for making what I feel was the ethical decision after a lot of thoughtful discussion. There are just too many issues with crypto for any potential donation revenue to be worth the cost of helping to legitimize it.” 

However, the foundation said that it will monitor this issue. It remains flexible and responsive. It means that it may still decide to accept crypto donations in the future. 

Energy Bill When Mining Crypto 

Cryptocurrencies show no signs of slowing down. However, the gold rush has a catch. As mentioned, minting cryptocurrency can be energy-intensive because of the algorithms that use to power them. 

According to this post, the most power-hungry crypto is Bitcoin with 1173 kWh per transaction. It’s followed by Ethereum using 87.29 kWh per transaction. 

But why does it use so much energy? It utilizes a “proof-of-work” system to verify transactions on the blockchain. To complete it, it needs significant processing power. 

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Author: Jane Danes

Jane has a lifelong passion for writing. As a blogger, she loves writing breaking technology news and top headlines about gadgets, content marketing and online entrepreneurship and all things about social media. She also has a slight addiction to pizza and coffee.

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