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.

South Korean Startup That Raised 29,000 ETH via ICO Is Shutting Down

Contents Protocol Team, a South Korean cryptocurrency startup that raised over 29,300 ether via an initial coin offering (ICO) and a private token sale in 2018, is shutting down and refunding its investors.

According to the startup’s website, Contents Protocol decided to shut down and refunds its investors over a continued lack of regulatory uncertainty, and over difficulties with its own goal of collecting data from local platforms like Watcha and Watcha Play. Watcha is a Korean movie rating and recommendations service, while Watcha Play is a streaming service similar to Netflix.

The startup was looking to reward the platforms and their users with its own native token, the CPT, for the data it collected, so it could then sell the data to content providers and create a better content production ecosystem. The idea didn’t seem to work as the platform didn’t see cryptocurrencies in a favorable light. The website reads:

There were numerous difficulties in encouraging participation from content consumers because of their negative perception toward cryptocurrency, price volatility and complex user experience. It was also a challenge to bring in content platforms who would provide data to Contents Protocol.

The firm added that since its capacity to collect data was limited, it was hard to give content producers insightful data that helped them improved the ecosystem. Legal and accounting risks associated with the uncertainty surrounding crypto taxes also contributed to the firm’s fallout.

Contents Protocol detailed it’s liquidating and distributing its remaining assets to investors based on the legal opinion and advisory from law firms in both Korea and Singapore. Its assets are to be converted to ether and then distributed to CPT token holders who requested an ETH compensation.

Its initial coin offering was held in December 2018, where it raised 29,337 ETH when the cryptocurrency was trading at about $115. It currently has 26,878 ETH in its reserves which will be distributed to CPT holders following a specific ratio:

asset distribution ratioSource: Contents Protocol

According to CryptoCompare data, ether is currently trading at $281 after rising over 72.8% in the last 30 days.

Featured image via Pixabay.