Wikipedia stops taking crypto donations over fear of scams

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Wikipedia, the free online encyclopaedia that anyone can edit, often asks users for donations. However, budding learners looking to chuck a dollar or two in the website’s way will now have to fork out a real currency. 

After accepting cryptocurrency since 2014, The Wikimedia Foundation has denounced digital tokens in favour of established monies. But why would they turn down donations? 

Wikipedia says no to crypto

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Molly White, Wiki Editor and Web3 Is Going Great creator, revealed that Wikipedia would stop accepting crypto donations. Until recently, the online encyclopaedia platform accepted Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ether tokens, but no longer. 

The change came after a community decision to  distance the website from the virtual currency. Community members proposed the change after claiming that crypto’s environmental damage goes against the website’s eco-friendly mantra. 

In a 400-member discussion, crypto donations were officially ousted. Community members voted 234 to 94 to cut out crypto, citing environmental impact, low crypto donations and risk of scams.  Afterwards, The Wikimedia Foundation announced that it will be ending direct crypto donations. Additionally, the foundation will be closing its official Bitpay account. 

The refusal of cryptocurrency will barely make a dent in Wikipedia's average donation income. Despite crypto being seen as a massive industry, less than a percent of the encyclopaedia's donations came from crypto. In fact, in 2021, only 0.08% of donations were from crypto users.

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The Crypto Era 

For many, the testing phase for crypto is over, and that includes Wikipedia. While Crypto has minor benefits over fungible currency, its volatility has caused many companies to back away from the tech. 

This volatility was only exacerbated last year when the country of El Salvador adopted bitcoin as an official currency. Just months into the currency’s adoption, many were already moving back to traditional means of payment. 

Maybe, one day, virtual currencies may be the  way to go, but for now their volatility, environmental impact and scam rate make them too hard to trust reliably enough to run a company or country with.