Wikipedia Is “Absolutely Never” Conducting an ICO, Says Co-Founder Jimmy Wales

Francisco Memoria
  • 1 Aug 2018
  • /
  • In #ICO
  • Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales recently revealed the non-profit organization is "absolutely never" going to conduct an ICO.
  • The website, the fifth most popular in the world, currently survives off of community donations.

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.

Jimmy Wales

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.

Weekly Newsletter

Sparkster (SPRK) Debuts at 10% of ICO Price, Bittrex Geofences 32 Cryptoassets

Today's top news from the cryptocurrency and blockchain space:

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At the time of writing, bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) are trading at $7,954.79 (2.35%) and $242.21 (1.84%), respectively. The MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 Index, it is currently tracking at 3,861.18 (+4.47%).

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Among the predictions shared by Long – who has been a driving force behind the U.S. state of Wyoming’s establishment of a crypto-friendly regulatory environment – was that developing economies will be significant beneficiaries of Facebook’s GlobalCoin.

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Sparkster, a blockchain project that completed a $30 million initial coin offering (ICO) in July 2018, unlocked its SPRK tokens yesterday. After selling for $0.17 (USD) per token during the ICO, SPRK debuted on multiple cryptocurrency exchanges for roughly one-tenth of its price; a 90 percent loss for those who invested almost twelve months ago.

Bittrex Latest to De-List Cryptocurrencies for U.S. Traders

Major cryptocurrency exchange operator, Bittrex, announced it will disable support for thirty-two listed coins for customers based in the U.S. Effective on June 21, the U.S.-based exchange stated in a blog post that:

U.S. Customers will be sent an email communication from Bittrex that provides guidance on what they can and cannot do with their affected Tokens/Coins in connection with this change before an affected market is no longer available.

Among the cryptocurrencies set to be disabled on Bittrex – and transitioned to Bittrex International – are Storj (STORJ), Gifto (GTO), and Enigma (ENG).

Bittrex’s decision comes only a few weeks after fellow U.S.-based exchange, Poloniex, stopped offering nine cryptocurrencies to domestic customers due to regulatory uncertainty.