The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a US-based “non-profit and charitable organization” focused on acquiring funding for Wikipedia and other informational websites, has partnered with leading crypto payment processor, BitPay.

Being Able To Donate “From Anywhere In The World”

According to the announcement’s press release, the partnership involves BitPay helping the Wikimedia Foundation to accept bitcoin (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) donations. The foundation aims to “create a world in which everyone can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.” However, accepting donations to help manage Wikipedia and other sites has been difficult as Wikimedia notes that the world’s payments ecosystem is “fractured.”

In order to make it easier for users to donate “from anywhere in the world”, Wikimedia will accept bitcoin payments through its partnership with BitPay. Notably, Wikimedia has been accepting donations in bitcoin “for several years.” However, the foundation recently switched to BitPay as its new payment processor in order to also start accepting donations in bitcoin cash.

“Striving To Provide Large Variety Of Donation Options”

Commenting on why Wikimedia has started accepting BCH, Pats Pena, the director of payments and operations, remarked:

Our donors have shown an increased interest for different cryptocurrencies, so accepting bitcoin cash was a natural next step. We accept donations globally, and we strive to provide a large variety of donation options. It's very important that we can get international donations processed in ways that are efficient and cost-effective.

Meanwhile, Sonny Singh, the chief commercial officer at BitPay, revealed that taking donations in bitcoin and bitcoin cash is currently one of the “cheapest payment options.” Accepting these cryptocurrencies ensures that “more money goes to charity” rather than paying costly transaction fees, Singh said.

As mentioned in the announcement, BitPay has helped settle “several multi-million dollar donations” for various non-profit organizations. The payment processor is expecting more companies and individuals to start making donations in crypto. BitPay also mentioned that cryptocurrency donations have “increased dramatically” in the past few years – “especially at the end of year for tax benefits.”

Wikimedia Founer Critical Of Cryptocurrencies

In August 2018, Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia and Wikimedia, said that the non-profit online encyclopedia would “absolutely never” raise funds through an initial coin offering (ICO). Wales had clarified (at that time): 

We are absolutely never going to do that. Zero interest.

Since it was first launched, Wikipedia and other informational sources managed by Wikimedia have been funded mainly through community donations. Notably, Wales has been a vocal critic of cryptocurrencies and ICOs, and has previously referred to blockchain technology as a “super-interesting technology” that was in its “bubble” phase.