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Wikimedia has decided to discontinue direct acceptance of cryptocurrency donation


Wikimedia Foundation–the non-profit organisation that runs Wikipedia– has decided to stop accepting donations in cryptocurrency, citing the impact cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have on the environment. “The Wikimedia Foundation has decided to discontinue direct acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of donating … we are making this decision based on recent feedback from [volunteers and donor] communities,” the foundation said in a statement.

Members of the community had asked for the foundation to end crypto donations last month following a debate among 400 Wikipedia users. The group opposing the foundation's crypto policy was primarily concerned with the negative climate impacts of crypto mining and the foundation's reputation.

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.

Common arguments in support of the proposal to stop crypto included issues of “environmental sustainability, that accepting cryptocurrencies constitutes an implicit endorsement of the issues surrounding cryptocurrencies, and community issues with the risk to the movement’s reputation for accepting cryptocurrencies,” Vermont wrote in a Wikipedia post.

Bitcoin alone has the energy footprint of the Czech Republic while Ethereum's is on the order of Kazakhstan, according to calculations by crypto watchdog Digiconimist. Pressure to clean up crypto has been ramping up, and the Wikimedia Foundation's decision could spark other campaigns to tackle crypto mining's ballooning carbon footprint.

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