Following a discussion with its community that began in January and ended in April The Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), the parent company of Wikipedia has announced that it will be closing its Bitpay account and will therefore no longer accept contributions or donations in digital currencies.
The foundation reached this conclusion after a proposal by members of the Wikimedia community which was supported by 234 of its about 400 community members to end the use of crypto as a payment option.
The critic’s arguments are the usual points posed by opposers of the cryptocurrency bothering on environmental hazards associated with Bitcoin, the anonymous nature of the digital currencies, ease of use for sanctioned individuals as well as risks of scams.
According to the supporters of the ban move, continuing to accept crypto as a payment option would mean approving the environmental risks associated with crypto which takes a toll on the environment and is contrary to WMF’s commitment to a sustainable environment.
She believes the decision to stop is the right one and it won’t cost the foundation much as the payment option accounts for only 0.08% of the Foundation’s accrued revenue in the last fiscal year amounting to about $130,000 from 347 donors. Donations were mostly in Bitcoin (BTC).
The foundation embraced donations in crypto back in 2014, accepting currencies like Ethereum (ETH), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in addition to BTC following the request of its members. Meanwhile, Mozilla has also banned accepting cryptocurrency for its Firefox browser to complement a related effort from the Wikimedia Foundation.
Cryptocurrencies and the Environment
The environmental risks posed by digital currencies have continued to worry a lot of individuals, companies, and governments alike.
Tesla Inc also backtracked on its decision to accept Bitcoin as a model of payment drawing on the growing backlash on its environmental impacts.
Tesla & Bitcoin pic.twitter.com/YSswJmVZhP
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 12, 2021
The company noted that although the cryptocurrency is a great idea with a promising future it cannot be at the expense of the environment. Also on environmental grounds, China banned crypto mining on its shores last year.