The non-profit foundation Wikimedia, which is in charge of Wikipedia, has gotten pushback over accepting cryptocurrency donations due to environmental concerns, according to a report Wednesday (Jan. 12) by CoinDesk.
In a proposal from contributor Molly White written to Wikimedia, she argues that accepting cryptos could have negative effects and that endorsing digital coins would be a mistake, as they are “inherently predatory” as investments.
White said that this would not go well with the nonprofit’s environmental efforts, since bitcoin and ether need “enormous” amounts of energy. She added there were other alternatives that were more eco-friendly, although they’re not as widely used.
Wikimedia currently accepts bitcoin, ether and bitcoin cash through BitPay, a crypto payment service provider.
According to White, Wikipedia’s reputation could be damaged by the environmental impacts of digital coins — she also cites Mozilla as another nonprofit which has paused accepting crypto donations.
The report says bitcoin’s energy consumption has been widely known, and its “Proof of Work (POW)” consensus model has been debated for its environmental impact. Crypto miners have to use large amounts of computing powers to validate transactions using POW.
Miners have been countering the critiques through using more sustainable energy sources, and some bitcoin supporters have been saying miners can help change the culture and shift to clean energy.
PYMNTS reported earlier this month that crypto has a “PR problem,” in that both executives and investors as well as the buying public are leery of the bad points of the digital currencies.
The report mentions the aforementioned Mozilla, which made its decision because of what a founder said was the “planet-incinerating” effects of crypto.
In addition, Nicolas Pouard, vice president of Ubisoft’s Strategic Innovation Lab, said that due to environmental factors, it was going to rethink introducing blockchain-based system Quartz, which it would use to introduce non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
POW is responsible for securing blockchains and adding new blocks of transactions, relying on miners who compete for it by solving a math puzzle. Ethereum has been struggling because of the number of projects, which has led to slower transactions.
Ethereum is trying to solve the issue through a new project called Ethereum 2.0, which could use less power, and there are alternative blockchains that are also being presented as better options.