The Wikimedia Foundation won't accept crypto donations anymore

Environmental concerns and the potential for fraud were the main concerns.


After Wikipedia editors voted to drop cryptocurrency as a donation option last month, the Wikimedia Foundation has confirmed that it will no longer accept Bitcoin or other forms of crypto, The Verge reported. As part of that decision, it's closing its Bitpay account to prevent any future donations.

"The Wikimedia Foundation has decided to discontinue direct acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of donating. We began our direct acceptance of cryptocurrency in 2014 based on requests from our volunteers and donor communities. 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," the WMF wrote in an update.

"We will continue to monitor this issue, and appreciate the feedback and consideration given to this evolving matter by people across the Wikimedia movement. We will remain flexible and responsive to the needs of volunteers," it added.

Wikipedia editor GorillaWarefare (aka Molly White) wrote a proposal for the foundation to stop accepting cryptocurrencies, calling them "extremely risky investments." She also pointed out that they may not align with the foundation's commitment to environmental sustainability, as annual crypto production uses more energy than entire countries. White also cited the Mozilla Foundation's change of heart in its decision to accept Bitcoin after facing a heavy backlash from users.

Wikimedia welcomed requests for comments (RfC) to GorillaWarfare's proposal, with 232 voting in favor of it and 94 against. The WMF said it would take all that into account before making a final decision. "I’m really proud of my community for making what I feel was the ethical decision after a lot of thoughtful discussion," White told The Verge in a statement. "There are just too many issues with crypto for any potential donation revenue to be worth the cost of helping to legitimize it."