The Coin Leaks News: Although cryptocurrency donations have been growing in popularity, especially in cases like the ongoing Russian invasion in Ukraine, Wikipedia editors are concerned about the impact on the environment and request that the platform ceases accepting donations.
In fact, Wikipedia editors decided to request the parent Wikimedia Foundation to cease accepting donations in digital assets such as Bitcoin (BTC), and Ethereum (ETH) in a 232-94 vote. This was due to their detrimental effect on the environment.
Editors held a debate on this website between January and April. This allowed both crypto donation supporters and foes to present their arguments.
Arguments and Debate
People opposed to donations of digital assets expressed concern over the sustainability of the environment due to the energy required to mine Proof-of-Work cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Molly White (a.k.a. Wikipedia editor) explained: GorillaWarfare was the original proponent of the ban.
“Cryptocurrencies are extremely risky investments that have only been gaining popularity among retail investors particularly in recent times, and I do not think we should be endorsing their use in this way. In accepting them, I believe we are mainstreaming the usage of ‘investments’ and technology that are inherently predatory.”
Crypto proponents, on the other hand, argued that PoW was not the only consensus mechanism, and that the Proof-of-Stake algorithm (PoS), was increasing in popularity in the crypto industry.
White, however, pointed out that Bitcoin and Ethereum may not be available for a while and that the current models “continue to be extremely harmful to the environment”, echoing the views of most editors.
The vote does not have to be binding for Wikimedia Foundation. It is merely a representation of the majority opinion expressed by the editors on the platform.
Proof-of-Work versus Proof-of-Stake
Notably, Ethereum and Bitcoin, which are the largest blockchains, use the PoW algorithm. This is the older consensus mechanism that powers today’s cryptocurrencies. PoW is frequently criticized for its security, scalability and environmental issues.
Ethereum is currently preparing for “The Merge” update, which will mark Ethereum’s complete transition from PoW to PoS algorithms. This algorithm guarantees faster, more efficient transactions and lowers costs.
According to the network’s website, the Merge was originally expected to be launched in the second quarter of 2022. However, it has been moved to the third quarter.