Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, recently sparked a debate within the Bitcoin and broader cryptocurrency community with his remarks on X (formerly Twitter) on December 11. Wales compared the reliability of traditional banking systems to Bitcoin, leading to a series of responses from crypto advocates and experts.

In his X post, Wales sarcastically claimed to have forgotten his bank account password and lost all his cash, only to reveal that this scenario was hypothetical, adding, “No, actually, that didn’t happen because banks work and Bitcoin doesn’t.” This comment was a jab at Bitcoin, highlighting the issue where many users have lost access to their Bitcoin due to forgotten wallet passwords.

The Bitcoin community was quick to respond to Wales’ critique. They pointed out that banks might function well in countries with strong legal systems and stable currencies, but they are not universally accessible. Alex Gladstein, Chief Strategy Officer at the Human Rights Foundation, informed Wales that only about one billion out of the world’s eight billion people have access to banking services.

Lyn Alden, founder of Lyn Alden Investment Strategy, brought up the issue of security even for those with bank accounts. She cited the example of a Lebanese doctor who lost 95% of their savings due to hyperinflation, illustrating that traditional banking is not always a safe haven.

Two prominent Bitcoin advocates, Samson Mow and Eric Voohees, criticized Wales for Wikipedia’s reliance on donations for its operations. They suggested that if Wikipedia had invested in Bitcoin as they had previously advised, the organization would not need to continually solicit donations.

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