Wikipedia To Halt Crypto Donations Over Energy Concerns
The Wikipedia Community on Thursday closed a long-running vote over whether the encyclopedia should stop accepting donations in cryptocurrencies. At the final tally, about 71% of the community voted against receiving crypto donations.
The key reasoning behind the vote was the high power consumption of crypto networks, which tends to have an adverse environmental impact. The argument has been levelled against several proof-of-work tokens, such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). The results of the vote will now be considered by the Wikipedia Foundation.
The debate over crypto’s power consumption is a contested one. Majors such as China and Kazakhstan had banned mining last year due to concerns over energy consumption. The European Union had also attempted a similar move earlier this year.
Crypto a small portion of Wikipedia donations
Data revealed during the discussion showed that crypto donations made a very small portion of Wikipedia’s overall take. In the last financial year, the site received about $130,000 worth of donations in crypto, less than 0.1% of the total $150 million in revenue.
Arguments for the proposal also covered crypto’s high volatility, which at times makes the medium unsuitable for financial transactions.
Still, the vote acknowledged that there was a significant minority that opposed the move. A common theme among arguments against the proposal was that not all cryptos were energy-intensive, especially proof-of-stake models.
Users also noted that crypto was an important means for finance for people in oppressive countries, and that fiat currencies also had issues with a carbon footprint.
User GorillaWarfare, who raised the proposal, is also a prominent crypto critic. They also run the twitter page web3 is going just great.
How environmentally damaging is crypto?
A bulk of recent discourse around crypto has centered around the medium’s high energy consumption and carbon footprint. While pro-crypto arguments note that over 50% over mining happens through renewable energy, critics argue that miners are incentivized to use the cheapest sources of energy.
This would inevitably drive them towards low-cost, carbon-rich fuel.
With research still being done on the topic, early data shows that Bitcoin mining potentially consumes more energy than several small countries.
While it can be argued that traditional finance consumes far more energy, it also does so at an exponentially larger scale, making crypto’s high energy cost somewhat questionable.
But crypto has also attempted to move away from high energy requirements. Proof-of-stake networks require a fraction of energy in when compared to mining.
Ethereum, the world’s second-largest crypto, is also set to
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