Jimmy Wales Taken To School Over Bitcoin Post

Wales has apparently turned against Bitcoin, despite being an early adopter.

The Wikimedia Foundation started accepting bitcoin in 2014 but stopped in 2022

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales may have got more than he bargained for after a critical post about Bitcoin on X.

While Wales apparently meant it as little more than a throwaway remark, other social media users—including some of the great and the good from the crypto space—were quick to correct both the logic and the reality of his perspective.

Investor Lyn Alden drew attention to the pernicious effect of inflation, which erodes the value of money every year. In some countries, hyperinflation can completely wipe out the value of savings in a matter of months.

Another X user took the opportunity to make a point about ownership, and the fact that the existence of middlemen and centralized authorities means no one really controls the fiat money they think they hold.

Then there is the sizable percentage of the global population who are unbanked, or underbanked.

Wikipedia: Early Bitcoin Adopter

The "joke" is all the less funny given that Wikipedia was one of the earliest web organizations to embrace bitcoin, enabling users to donate to the site with crypto. Wales actually tweeted about buying BTC from Coinbase in 2014. Wikipedia began accepting donations in BTC in July 2014.

After significant pushback and a community consultation in 2022, the Foundation ended its ability to accept crypto payments.

The Wikimedia Foundation has decided to discontinue direct acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of donating. We began our direct acceptance of cryptocurrency in 2014 based on requests from our volunteers and donor communities. We are making this decision based on recent feedback from those same communities. Specifically, we will be closing our Bitpay account, which will remove our ability to directly accept cryptocurrency as a method of donating.

ShapeShift founder Erik Voorhees drew attention to the fact that Wales was on the wrong side of history, and it was costing Wikipedia both in terms of funding and credibility.

Bitcoin educator Dan Held (formerly Director of Growth Marketing at Kraken) kept it short and simple.


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