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Author Topic: Getting Wikipedia to accept Bitcoin donations - Community pledge  (Read 14141 times)
Meni Rosenfeld
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August 08, 2013, 07:09:46 PM
 #1

Most of us will agree that having the Wikimedia foundation (known for operating Wikipedia) accept Bitcoin donations could be a very important milestone in Bitcoin's adoption. They are famous for having refused for a long time with obscure reasons, but I believe they are warming up to the idea, and that it's high time we take concrete action about it.

In a recent discussion on Quora, Jimmy Wales has stated a few reasons to reject Bitcoin donations, and surprisingly they were all quite tangible. By this point it is already assumed that the donations will be immediately converted to USD via a provider such as BitPay, to help with accounting and make it easier to use the funds. The main objections were:

1. The amount that would be donated via Bitcoin is too small to be worth the trouble.

This objection is the easiest to refute; all we need is to demonstrate the quantitative aspects of our willingness to donate, and this is what this post is mostly about.

2. Adding more donation options is known to create "choice paralysis" and decrease the total amount donated. They have a process of A/B testing for measuring the effect of adding new options; this testing will increase the cost of even considering to add this option.

To this Jimmy suggested that they could add information about Bitcoin donations in a separate page not linked to from the main donations page. I find this to be a very acceptable compromise; we'll be able to donate, and we'll be able to tell people Wikipedia accepts Bitcoin donations.

3. Accepting bitcoins can be perceived as making a value judgement about Bitcoin, which they are hesitant to do.

I believe this can be alleviated with proper framing, and that making this available only from an orphan page will further reduce the perceived impact.


We have moved beyond the stage that we randomly bug them about taking bitcoins and hoping they'll eventually say yes. We need to have a serious discussion, and to do that we need to demonstrate that our intentions are serious.

And I believe a community pledge is a key component of this. These are funds raised with the sole purpose of donating to Wikimedia; they will be collected by the community of people who want to donate bitcoins to Wikipedia, for the benefit of both Bitcoin and Wikipedia.

Funds raised as part of the pledge can be used only to:
1. Donate to Wikimedia after they officially agree to accept Bitcoin donations.
2. Fund Wikimedia's research about the merits of including a Bitcoin donation option.
They will not be returned to donators if the drive fails, donated to Wikimedia without a move to officially accept Bitcoin, or donated to any other purpose. They will simply sit and grow until we succeed.

The funds needed are substantial, more than should be trusted with any single individual. I initially thought to hold them in a multisig address by a few trusted treasurers, but these are still hard to work with and error-prone. I suggest the next best thing: Interested, trusted members will post a Bitcoin address in their control, in which they will hold funds collected for the pledge; every donator will choose in whose address he is most comfortable storing the funds.

To reduce management overhead, only several highly trusted members should collect funds; I will update the OP with the addresses of treasurers I find suitable. Note that my standards are very high.

I offer my own collection address, 19HHHDya8PNqdVpiCdZYuwKyuWFoU1TC9A, and to get things started I'm donating 5 BTC. I request that someone will quote this address to reduce risk of tampering.


The plan going forward is simple:

1. We keep the pledge going until a substantial amount of funds is raised. (I'm hoping for 1000 BTC but we'll work with what we can have.)

2. Backed by the promise of donating the collected pledge, I contact the head of Wikimedia's fundraising team with a detailed argument for their acceptance of Bitcoin.

3. We discuss the relevant issues, coordinating with other relevant parties as needed (such as BitPay or another payment processor), and get a sense of what it would take for them to agree to move forward.

4. We resolve any issues raised (with the possible inclusion of having to raise more funds, or donating some funds in advance to fund their research).

5. We succeed in convincing the Wikimedia foundation to accept Bitcoin donations, donate all collected funds, continue to donate more funds via their published address/button, and live happily ever after.


tl;dr: If you want Wikipedia to accept Bitcoin donations and to donate to Wikipedia, please send bitcoins to one of the following. Remember, every little bit helps.

Wikipedia pledge collection addresses:

Meni Rosenfeld: 19HHHDya8PNqdVpiCdZYuwKyuWFoU1TC9A

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August 08, 2013, 07:11:01 PM
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August 08, 2013, 07:13:18 PM
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tl;dr: If you want Wikipedia to accept Bitcoin donations and to donate to Wikipedia, please send bitcoins to one of the following.

Wikipedia pledge collection addresses:

Meni Rosenfeld: 19HHHDya8PNqdVpiCdZYuwKyuWFoU1TC9A

Witnessed. Great idea(s). If Wikipedia does start to accept Bitcoin donations, it'll be an amazing boost.

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August 08, 2013, 07:38:25 PM
 #4

Excellent initiative!! Let's do this!

tl;dr: If you want Wikipedia to accept Bitcoin donations and to donate to Wikipedia, please send bitcoins to one of the following.

Wikipedia pledge collection addresses:

Meni Rosenfeld: 19HHHDya8PNqdVpiCdZYuwKyuWFoU1TC9A
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August 08, 2013, 07:56:58 PM
 #5

This is a great idea. People around me don't trust and often look sceptically at Bitcoin. They won't once the most used community encyclopedia adopts it.

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August 09, 2013, 12:42:55 AM
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Wait, I have to send money to the address to pledge?

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August 09, 2013, 02:25:02 AM
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I love this idea(s), a large sum of bitcoins would definitely help getting past the biggest objection of the amount of money donated in bitcoins is small. (which admittedly is a problem until bitcoin gets bigger.)

The only problem is the current address, I'd prefer that there be some trusted escrow address or something along those lines.

1H8gQ7KEN65pbdtusg28NQ33YWFBPgWAf1
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August 09, 2013, 04:49:57 AM
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I love this idea(s), a large sum of bitcoins would definitely help getting past the biggest objection of the amount of money donated in bitcoins is small. (which admittedly is a problem until bitcoin gets bigger.)

The only problem is the current address, I'd prefer that there be some trusted escrow address or something along those lines.
We should get John K.

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August 09, 2013, 05:25:38 AM
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Wait, I have to send money to the address to pledge?
Yes. The pledge needs to be credible. We're not going to say "We have X BTC pledged" and in the moment of truth start chasing people and hoping they'll come through.

The only problem is the current address, I'd prefer that there be some trusted escrow address or something along those lines.
What do you mean by "a trusted escrow address"? We could do a multisig thing after all, but barring that actual people will have to hold the funds. I want more people to share the load but I'm as good as anyone else, my reputation is rock solid.

We should get John K.
By all means.

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August 09, 2013, 06:23:21 AM
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What about that http://blog.bitpay.com/2012/11/donate-to-wikipedia-with-bitcoin.html ?
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August 09, 2013, 06:25:45 AM
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From their site:
Quote
BitPay has setup a merchant account that will accept and forward donations to Wikipedia on behalf of the Bitcoin community. BitPay will automatically convert these into US dollars and deposit US dollars into Wikipedia’s bank account every day.  BitPay will offer this service at no charge to the donors or to Wikipedia.

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August 09, 2013, 06:27:24 AM
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Wikimedia isn't getting jack from me until they accept Bitcoin.

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August 09, 2013, 06:44:09 AM
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Funny coincidence.  I actually emailed them yesterday with a list of reasons why accepting Bitcoin via BitPay would be an easy and free way to accept Bitcoins without actually touching them.  I got this response today:

Quote
Hi Dave,

Thanks for your email and for your suggestion. We are aware of bitcoin, and we will continue to monitor it with interest. Please note that we also tend to avoid donations made from outside of the payment methods we've integrated with. The accounting nightmare we would be inflicting upon ourselves if we simply created accounts with every payment processor we don't integrate with would cost us much more in administrative costs than your generous support.

Thank you again for your support, and please let me know if you have any further questions!

Sincerely,
Joanie

Seeing as BitPay would set them up for free with their API, and they would still essentially be accepting USD via BitPay (which I clearly explained), this response made no sense to me beyond her not reading/understanding what I was explaining.  For those thinking BitPay charges 0.99%/transaction, they actually wave this for charities.

Anyway, I fully support this idea and will donate some BTC via John K. if he comes on board!
Meni Rosenfeld
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August 09, 2013, 06:47:38 AM
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From their site:
Quote
BitPay has setup a merchant account that will accept and forward donations to Wikipedia on behalf of the Bitcoin community. BitPay will automatically convert these into US dollars and deposit US dollars into Wikipedia’s bank account every day.  BitPay will offer this service at no charge to the donors or to Wikipedia.
This offer is not officially supported by Wikimedia. There's a huge difference.

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August 09, 2013, 07:09:42 AM
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August 09, 2013, 07:10:39 AM
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I support this idea but I've already sent my yearly payment to wikipedia. To be honest I would still use my credit card even if bitcoin was a payment option since I still find bitcoins difficult to obtain and like keeping them when I have them.

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August 09, 2013, 07:17:37 AM
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Alternatively, don't donate anything to Wikipedia as they clearly just don't need the money that much. There are other good things you can do with your money!
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August 09, 2013, 08:10:42 AM
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Donation sent.

Also... i donate every December... so instead of giving them money directly, this year, i will donate to 19HHHDya8PNqdVpiCdZYuwKyuWFoU1TC9A and let them know about it via email.

If 100/1.000/10.000 of us do the same... i guess they will start scratching their heads.
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August 09, 2013, 09:06:25 AM
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Alternatively, don't donate anything to Wikipedia as they clearly just don't need the money that much. There are other good things you can do with your money!
I sympathize with the passive-aggressive stance, but it's factually false and not really helpful. They obviously do need the money. They need our help to overcome the reservations they have about accepting Bitcoin for it. Let's offer it.

But yes, there are of course many other causes worthy of donation.

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August 09, 2013, 09:17:22 AM
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Stupid idea, waste of money.

People who spend their time to post wiki pages, make edits etc never get any money.

Wikimedia is already earning good enough money via donations for their operating cost.

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