After a discussion within the Wikimedia Foundation that lasted three months and that revolved around the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining, Wikipedia concluded that it will stop receiving donations in bitcoin. The decision was made after the organization received 232 votes in favor of the measure and 94 against.
The debate, which also revolved around the cases of scams associated with cryptocurrencies, began thanks to a proposal presented by Molly White, who is a collaborator of the foundation known by the nickname of GorillaWarfare. White argued that the act of receiving donations should be aligned with the philosophy of Wikipedia. This means that, in her opinion, Wikipedia had to decide which cause to support: that of the decentralized financial world or that of the climate crisis.
And it is that not only the physical money in addition to the necessary energy that is required to produce bitcoins, one of the most serious problems of cryptocurrency mining has to do with the electronic waste that results from this activity. A study published in 2021 by Science Direct assured at the time that this type of mining was representing the planet around 30,000 tons of electronic waste accumulated year after year: a level of pollution is comparable to that generated by a country like the Netherlands with your computer equipment waste.
How many donations did Wikipedia receive in bitcoin?
As part of his argument, White recalled that, in January of this year, the Mozilla Foundation also stopped receiving donations in bitcoin, until a more environmentally friendly payment system was chosen. However, despite the fact that there are mining projects that seek to reduce their ecological impact, such as Bitcoin Clean, they are still not large enough to have a positive impact on the phenomenon.
During 2021, Wikipedia, which is preparing to close the Bitpay portal to definitively stop crypto donations, received nearly US$130,000 in bitcoin: a sum that, according to some economic media, represents only 0.08% of the total contributions that Wikipedia organization received.