The Wikipedia publishing community has voted to stop accepting cryptocurrency donations after months of intense debate.
The vote – 232 for, 94 against – means the proposal is now submitted to the Wikimedia Foundation for review, which is under no obligation to accept it.
The discussion was started by Wikipedia user Molly White, known as GorillaWarfare, who runs the excellent Web3 blog, which highlights common oddities in the crypto space.
“Cryptocurrencies are extremely risky investments that are only growing in popularity with retail investors,” White wrote in January 2022. “I don’t think we should condone their use in this way.”
One of the main reasons was that Bitcoin and Ether, the two most popular currencies, use a proof-of-work model that requires huge amounts of computing power.
One of the biggest debates within the web3 space right now is about proof-of-work versus proof-of-stake, a newer, less power-intensive model that – if all goes according to plan – Ethereum will eventually switch to. .
In an email to Ars-TechnicaThe Wikimedia Foundation said, “We are aware of the community’s request that the Foundation consider ending our acceptance of cryptocurrency donations. Our fundraising team is reviewing the request and related discussions and we will provide additional information once they have completed this process.”
A popular estimate – which, it should be noted, is disputed – shows that Bitcoin uses around 200 TWh of energy per year, or up to 70 million people in Thailand.
As the climate crisis worsens, so much energy being consumed by an asset that is pretty useless outside of speculation is a very debatable thing.
Proponents of accepting cryptocurrencies on Wikipedia have argued that energy consumption comes from mining, not from using the currency.
Similar debates raged at Mozilla, another indie web darling, which received widespread criticism after a tweet referenced accepting crypto donations.
The browser maker has since pulled out and said it will not accept such donations in the future.