Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, created and updated by volunteers and hosted by the Wikipedia foundation. Today, its founder Jimmy Wales stated that the not-for-profit platform will never hold an ICO or issue its own cryptocurrency or token.
After giving a speech at Berlin-based blockchain event, he told the media:
“We are absolutely never going to do that. Zero interest.”
When questioned on cryptocurrencies in the past, Wales has always been sceptical and even went as far as to call ICOs “absolute scams” that offer “nothing of value”.
When questioned as to why he would then speak at a blockchain event, he explained that he was only doing so as he was being paid. When asked to elaborate, he did, however, state that he thought the technology was very interesting but that it was probably a bubble with a lot of mania and hype surrounding it.
The pages of Wikipedia are maintained purely by volunteers and with ICOs ruled out completely, it seems that Wikipedia will continue to be funded via traditional donation methods, including Bitcoin. The site started accepting Bitcoin for donations in 2014 despite Wales saying he was “cautious” about the new technology.
The Wikipedia site made GBP 140,000 in crypto donations during its first week of accepting virtual currencies and the approximately 237 BTC it received back then, would be worth around $1.8 million today.
Whilst Wales’ criticism of the industry is harsh and he remains adamant that he will never venture down the ICO route, many people, countries, and companies before him have had similar opinions and then had their minds changed. Whether this will be the case with Wikipedia remains to be seen but for many, it is obvious that blockchain and crypto would be a useful addition to one of the world’s most visited websites.