Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales recently revealed the non-profit online encyclopedia is “absolutely never” going to conduct an initial coin offering (ICO). Wales himself is a well-known cryptocurrency critic, who’s dismissed the fundraising method in the past.
Speaking to Business Insider after attending the BlockShow conference in Berlin, Wales clarified Wikipedia will never attempt to raise funds through an ICO. He said:
We are absolutely never going to do that. Zero interest.
Currently the website, the fifth most visited in the world, survives off of community donations, a practice Business Insider touts as have been perfected by Wikipedia itself. Per Wales, it manages to raise its funds after conducting various A/B tests on the platform to get people to pull out their wallets.
The website’s lack of interest in cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings saw the interviewer ask why Wales attended the BlockShow conference. Per his words, blockchain technology, despite his reservations, is a “super-interesting technology,” that’s “clearly a bubble with a lot of mania and hype around it.” Moreover, he added people pay him to speak at conferences.
Notably, Wales claimed the cryptocurrency space is “absolutely, definitely in a bubble,” during his speech at BlockShow, as CryptoGlobe covered at the time. He further promoted his new for-profit venture, WikiTribune, an organization “completely separate from Wikipedia” that sees voluntaries contribute news and research to create “evidence-based journalism.”
Per Wales’ words, the cryptocurrency space is in “serious need of real journalism,” a problem that saw him present WikiTribune as a solution. Per the entrepreneur’s words, the platform came as a response to “recent attacks on the media and terms like “fake news”.”
In October of last year he warned against ICOs as these are “absolute scams and people should be very wary of things that are going on in that area.” Earlier this year, a study found that as many as 80% of ICOs conducted last year were scams, who managed to get 11% of the funds raised last year, while 70% went to “higher quality projects.”
The Wikimedia Foundation has been accepting bitcoin donations since 2014, shortly after Wales claimed he was “paying” with the flagship cryptocurrency. As CryptoGlobe covered, the most prolific editor of Bitcoin’s Wikipedia page is a Czech grandpa, who doesn’t own any crypto himself.