After an intense voting session on the potential removal of cryptocurrency in donations to Wikimedia’s services, the nonprofit organization finally decided to discontinue the direct acceptance of crypto as a means of donating. It has since closed its Bitpay account and will be monitoring the situation for feedback.
Wikimedia Foundation is the owner, operator, and host of Wikipedia, the popular and free open online encyclopedia maintained by volunteers worldwide. Since Wikipedia is largely funded through donations, Wikimedia has had to adjust its supported payment methods based on what its current donor communities prefer and have access to. This time, they’d rather shut down the cryptocurrency movement in their circle.
Wikimedia had first started directly accepting crypto way back in 2014 when its users had requested it. However, in the wake of the issues surrounding cryptocurrency—mainly concerning its negative impact on our environment—the organization’s numerous users and volunteers eventually banded together back in January 2022 to request its removal from Wikimedia’s accepted forms of donation.
After months of voting and debate, 71% of the user votes were in favor of Wikimedia stopping the direct acceptance of cryptocurrency—with 232 in favor of the ban while 94 were against. Wikimedia announced that it will be closing its Bitpay account so that it can no longer directly accept crypto donations. Additionally, the foundation mentioned that it will continue to be flexible and responsive to the needs of its volunteers and donors.
While users can no longer easily support Wikipedia with cryptocurrency, this doesn’t mean that the option is fully off the table. Wikimedia has simply cut off its direct route. You can still use crypto—although it will require some conversions to be accepted. If you’re interested in learning more about news on cryptocurrency, here’s a crypto hack scandal on Axie Infinity and Opera for Android now featuring an Ethereum Layer 2 Wallet.