Wikipedia no longer wants Bitcoin as a donation

The website that most often asks for donations says “no” to certain donations. It does not want to receive Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. People with good intentions with the online encyclopedia will therefore have to choose a different payment method.


It is striking that a platform like Wikipedia chooses this because it basically has the same DNA as bitcoin. After all, Wikipedia is a kind of open source, all-in-one platform, where it doesn’t matter how much money you have or what your status or profession is. Cryptocurrencies work via blockchain and have a decentralized character, which means that everyone can participate, no matter how much money they have, and so on. After all, if you can not pay a whole Bitcoin (which is now just under 38,000 euros worth), you can always choose a part of a Bitcoin.

It’s not just for that reason that it’s striking that Wikipedia is no longer okay with cryptocurrency. It is also striking because Wikipedia is known as a platform that very often asks for donations. One would think that it would be a little less picky as to what those donations exactly entail, but nothing could be further from the truth. The platform also excludes not only Bitcoin, but all cryptocurrencies. It will have nothing to do with blockchain.

Bitcoin and blockchain

The reason Wikipedia provides this, again, is remarkable: it believes that Bitcoin and blockchain use too much energy. That’s not an obvious reason, because it’s actually quite correct. Bitcoin is 2,000 kWh per transaction, although pro-Bitcoiners believe that mining in particular costs electricity and individual transactions do not. But looking at it this way, Wikipedia is not a girlfriend when it comes to power consumption. It is such a large internet platform (55 million pages) and is used so much (on average 18 billion times a month) that all that traffic through these data centers also largely comes through Wikipedia, and it is not exactly sustainable.

Of course, it is so much less heavy to load an internet website in terms of consumption than what is involved in cryptocurrencies, but it still feels a little strange that the very well known Wikipedia chooses this. However, it was not a unanimous decision. There are 200 regular Wikipedia editors who have requested this from the Wikimedia Foundation, the organization behind Wikipedia. It’s also a pretty big chunk of money: last year it received $ 130,000 in cryptocurrencies. On the other hand, compared to overall revenue, it’s not that much: it’s $ 150 million.

A lot of fighting

Wikimedia has been arguing over the issue for the past three months. For example, anti-crypto enthusiasts did not want Wikipedia to adopt cryptocurrencies because it drives up the price of that crypto. The higher the price, the more fanatical people are to extract more Bitcoin, which still costs energy. People could easily convert their Bitcoin into dollars, right? But yes, for that you have to go to a bank and that is exactly the middleman that people in crypto want to omit everywhere. Or where people can not go at all because they have no proof of identity and are not allowed to open an account.

In short, it has been something of a discussion, but 232 Wikipedia editors were for and 94 editors were against. In any case, Wikimedia would not be the first to no longer accept Bitcoin: Mozilla, Tesla and Steam have previously stated that they no longer accept Bitcoin. Wikimedia has probably not said the last word about it yet, for Wikimedia does not have to answer this, but it is likely that it does for its editors who have been writing for them for so long. And therefore also for nature.

Laura Jenny

When not writing, she travels around the wonderful world of entertainment or a cool place in the real world. Mario is the man of her life …

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