Cryptocurrency, for all its pathbreaking progress, bears with it a negative environmental impact. Bitcoin mining is one of the most energy-intensive computing processes in the world. It is calculated that the energy needed to keep the Bitcoin network running is enough to power the whole of Poland for a year. Many environmental activists have spoken and acted against cryptocurrencies. When China banned cryptocurrencies in 2021, it cited the harmful environmental impact as one of the motivations behind the ban. Keeping in line with this argument, contributors to the Wikimedia Foundation are now deciding to stop accepting donations in cryptocurrencies for the harmful environmental effects. The Wikimedia Foundation began accepting donations in cryptocurrencies in 2019 in a collaboration with Bitpay. The initiative was successful and many people donated through cryptocurrencies. Now some contributors are raising concerns against it.
It all began with a proposal from a Wikimedia contributor named Molly White. According to her, the move towards accepting donations in cryptocurrencies goes directly against the ethos of the foundation. The Wikimedia Foundation has always been at the forefront of sustainable development and protecting the planet. Accepting payments in cryptocurrencies makes the donation a participant in the harmful environmental effects.
The debate surrounding the harmful environmental effects of Bitcoin has become very intense in recent times. There are arguments on both sides, but neither can deny the obvious harmful effects that come with Bitcoin mining. How Wikimedia proceeds from this point will be worth noting for the entire crypto community.