June 9, 2023

Wikipedia co-founder calls adding cryptocurrencies “insanity”

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales does not see a single practical use case for cryptocurrencies, which would convince him to add crypto assets to the platform.

Speaking at the CoinGeek Conference in London,Jimmy Wales said cryptocurrencies will not add any useful features to Wikipedia. He believes that adding cryptocurrencies to the site will damage his concept and ultimately change the unique way the platform works.

Wales said it is trying to make a distinctionbetween the ideological and practical nature of cryptocurrencies. He has already rejected the offers of lawyers who asked him to consider the option of providing an opportunity to directly reward the creators and editors of the content with crypto assets.

“This is a really bad idea that doesn't really work,” Wales said. “If you take something that is bad in itself and put it on the blockchain, it does not necessarily become a good idea.”

Wikipedia relies on experts andvolunteer enthusiasts to add and edit new content, verify facts, and remove inaccurate or irrelevant materials, Wales said. By integrating cryptocurrencies, Wikipedia will “take a step back”, making it easier for people and companies to pay for the content they want to see on the platform.

“Creating a mechanism by which you encourage this type of behavior ... will not play at all to the benefit of Wikipedia quality,” said Wales.

In his opinion, if you force authors and editors to use cryptocurrency, this will “cause serious harm” to Wikipedia.

“Offering them to pay or risk money to edit Wikipedia is completely insane,” he said.

If the platform made people postdeposits, then some experts and enthusiasts who contribute because of interest in their chosen topic can leave the site. They will be replaced by people who are effectively competing with each other for creating and editing content for money, he says.

Although Wales objects to creating incentives forWikipedia editors, he said that he is not against accepting donations in various crypto assets. Recall that Wikipedia has been accepting BTC donations since 2014. In addition, during the cryptocurrency rally in late 2017, the Wikipedia page on Bitcoin was in the top 3 popular pages of the site for two days.