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Author Topic: Wikipedia's yearly donation campaign; Time to accept Bitcoins?  (Read 14463 times)
sadpandatech
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October 28, 2011, 05:54:10 PM
 #1

  Well, for those that read, support or add content to Wiki it's that time of year again when they humbly ask for donations to keep the site operating.  I don't spend a whole lot of time there but would be more than willing to donate a few bits their way if they accepted them. I am going to write them about it and would encourage anyone else that is interested to do the same.

  Link to their request; https://wikimediafoundation.org/w/index.php?title=L11_1028_US3_Alan/en/US&utm_source=B_1028_US3_Alan1&utm_medium=sitenotice&utm_campaign=C_1028_US3&language=en
  Current Donation options;  http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Ways_to_Give/en
  Main Wikimedia Site; https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Home


   Cheers,
      Derek


   Edit;   Please note: Wikimedia is not associated with WikiLeaks.

If you're not excited by the idea of being an early adopter 'now', then you should come back in three or four years and either tell us "Told you it'd never work!" or join what should, by then, be a much more stable and easier-to-use system. - GA
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sadpandatech
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October 28, 2011, 05:59:41 PM
 #2

I think that is a great idea, does anyone know anybody that works there?

   Thanks. That would be very helpful. I am currently looking through all the different ways to communicate with them. I.e., email, forums, etc.

If you're not excited by the idea of being an early adopter 'now', then you should come back in three or four years and either tell us "Told you it'd never work!" or join what should, by then, be a much more stable and easier-to-use system. - GA
It is being worked on by smart people. -DamienBlack
kiyote
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October 28, 2011, 06:00:20 PM
 #3

I'd give them coins if they accepted them...  Still might give them dollars, because I am a bit of a Wikipedia junkie.
MaxSan
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October 28, 2011, 10:21:22 PM
 #4

Hey guys as you have started a thread about this I actually suggested this to them last month and I got the following response.

Note this was the UK branch of wikimedia.

Quote
Dear Max,

Thank you for your email. We have been looking into accepting BitCoins for some
time now, but at present we don't have the staff available to process BitCoin
payments as well as Direct Debits, Paypal and cheque/postal orders. There are also
concerns as to whether or not accepting BitCoins would be acceptable to the
Charities Commission - the currency is untraceable, which is something that the
Charities Commission may not be entirely happy with! That said, I'll put your
question forward to the Board, and they'll look into it.

Sincerely,
netrin
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October 28, 2011, 10:36:46 PM
 #5

+1 I would donate to Wikipedia MUCH MORE OFTEN if they accepted bitcoin. I just might drop a bitcent on every article I read!

https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Contact_us

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October 28, 2011, 11:36:35 PM
 #6

Hey guys as you have started a thread about this I actually suggested this to them last month and I got the following response.

Note this was the UK branch of wikimedia.

Quote
Dear Max,

Thank you for your email. We have been looking into accepting BitCoins for some
time now, but at present we don't have the staff available to process BitCoin
payments as well as Direct Debits, Paypal and cheque/postal orders. There are also
concerns as to whether or not accepting BitCoins would be acceptable to the
Charities Commission - the currency is untraceable, which is something that the
Charities Commission may not be entirely happy with! That said, I'll put your
question forward to the Board, and they'll look into it.

Sincerely,

Maybe we should suggest bit-pay? As far as I know bit-pay is easy to integrate in websites and they don't have to deal with price fluctuation/money conversion so this could save some work for their staff.

This should be communicated to the US branch though because bit-pay only operates there.
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November 11, 2011, 04:39:19 PM
 #7

https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Answers#Finance:_Why_does_the_Wikimedia_Foundation_not_currently_accept_Bitcoin.3F

Quote
Finance: Why does the Wikimedia Foundation not currently accept Bitcoin?

More than one contributor has asked this one. For those unfamiliar with the concept, Bitcoin is a form of crypto-currency; in their own words, "an experimental new digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world."(Bitcoin P2P Digital Currency. Retrieved 2 November 2011.) The Wikimedia Foundation's position on the matter is as follows:
The Wikimedia Foundation, as a donor-driven organization, has a fiduciary duty to be responsible and prudent with its money. This has been interpreted to mean that we do not accept "artificial" currencies - that is, those not backed by the full faith and credit of an issuing government. We do, however, strive to provide as many methods of donating as possible and continue to monitor Bitcoin with interest and may revisit this position should circumstances change.
The Wikimedia Foundation does try to make donating as easy as possible, however. For a list of ways to give, see the "ways to give" page. --Maggie Dennis 20:33, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

“…virtual currencies, could have a substitution effect on central bank money if they become widely accepted.”
ECB Report, October 2012
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November 11, 2011, 05:25:10 PM
 #8

Maybe we should suggest bit-pay? As far as I know bit-pay is easy to integrate in websites and they don't have to deal with price fluctuation/money conversion so this could save some work for their staff.

This should be communicated to the US branch though because bit-pay only operates there.

The donator is still not traceable wit bit-pay. After all, the guberrmint doesn't want money laundering going on with those commie wiki folks.  Roll Eyes

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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November 11, 2011, 05:29:46 PM
 #9

https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Answers#Finance:_Why_does_the_Wikimedia_Foundation_not_currently_accept_Bitcoin.3F

Quote
Finance: Why does the Wikimedia Foundation not currently accept Bitcoin?

More than one contributor has asked this one. For those unfamiliar with the concept, Bitcoin is a form of crypto-currency; in their own words, "an experimental new digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world."(Bitcoin P2P Digital Currency. Retrieved 2 November 2011.) The Wikimedia Foundation's position on the matter is as follows:
The Wikimedia Foundation, as a donor-driven organization, has a fiduciary duty to be responsible and prudent with its money. This has been interpreted to mean that we do not accept "artificial" currencies - that is, those not backed by the full faith and credit of an issuing government. We do, however, strive to provide as many methods of donating as possible and continue to monitor Bitcoin with interest and may revisit this position should circumstances change.
The Wikimedia Foundation does try to make donating as easy as possible, however. For a list of ways to give, see the "ways to give" page. --Maggie Dennis 20:33, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

That quote would seem to indicate that wikimedia and Maggie are uninformed.

While there is a risk in HOLDING bitcoins that isn't a requirement to accept them. There is absolutely no risk in them accepting bitcoins and immediately converting them to "trusted" (LOLZ) fiat currencies.
sadpandatech
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November 11, 2011, 05:34:08 PM
 #10

https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Answers#Finance:_Why_does_the_Wikimedia_Foundation_not_currently_accept_Bitcoin.3F

Quote
Finance: Why does the Wikimedia Foundation not currently accept Bitcoin?

More than one contributor has asked this one. For those unfamiliar with the concept, Bitcoin is a form of crypto-currency; in their own words, "an experimental new digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world."(Bitcoin P2P Digital Currency. Retrieved 2 November 2011.) The Wikimedia Foundation's position on the matter is as follows:
The Wikimedia Foundation, as a donor-driven organization, has a fiduciary duty to be responsible and prudent with its money. This has been interpreted to mean that we do not accept "artificial" currencies - that is, those not backed by the full faith and credit of an issuing government. We do, however, strive to provide as many methods of donating as possible and continue to monitor Bitcoin with interest and may revisit this position should circumstances change.
The Wikimedia Foundation does try to make donating as easy as possible, however. For a list of ways to give, see the "ways to give" page. --Maggie Dennis 20:33, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

That quote would seem to indicate that wikimedia and Maggie are uninformed.

While there is a risk in HOLDING bitcoins that isn't a requirement to accept them. There is absolutely no risk in them accepting bitcoins and immediately converting them to "trusted" (LOLZ) fiat currencies.

   Aye, think the problem is they neglected to run such an idea by their accountant.  He would have told them that they would only need to report the donation amount as, Pirce at conversion - cost to convert = net donation.....

If you're not excited by the idea of being an early adopter 'now', then you should come back in three or four years and either tell us "Told you it'd never work!" or join what should, by then, be a much more stable and easier-to-use system. - GA
It is being worked on by smart people. -DamienBlack
barbarousrelic
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November 11, 2011, 08:31:20 PM
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Quote
The Wikimedia Foundation, as a donor-driven organization, has a fiduciary duty to be responsible and prudent with its money. This has been interpreted to mean that we do not accept "artificial" currencies - that is, those not backed by the full faith and credit of an issuing government.

The person writing this is a little mixed up. The US government does not back US dollars with its full faith and credit - it backs Treasury debt with its full faith and credit.


Do not waste your time debating whether Bitcoin can work. It does work.

"Early adopters will profit" is not a sufficient condition to classify something as a pyramid or Ponzi scheme. If it was, Apple and Microsoft stock are Ponzi schemes.

There is no such thing as "market manipulation." There is only buying and selling.
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November 13, 2011, 04:35:59 PM
 #12

+1 barbarousrelic, though if the US government would ever need to actually pay Treasury bond holders with dollars, then it can simply issue more Treasury debt and tell the Federal Reserve to print dollars and buy this new debt, and use these devalued dollars to pay the bond holders. Without the ability to print new dollars it would be more meaningful to say that treasury debt is backed by full faith and credit, because this statement would mean that the debt holders get paid with money that has same value as the money they paid when they bought the debt bonds.
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November 17, 2011, 05:54:32 PM
 #13

Quote
The Wikimedia Foundation, as a donor-driven organization, has a fiduciary duty to be responsible and prudent with its money. This has been interpreted to mean that we do not accept "artificial" currencies - that is, those not backed by the full faith and credit of an issuing government

Ahahahah what an idiocy, then they should instantly stop accepting dollar, euro and what else  Roll Eyes

Also they could simply sell bitcoin for their loved dollars, why they don't do it?  Roll Eyes

full faith+fiat currency=EPIC FAIL

Oh well i won't donate anything to wikipedia. Their choice.
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November 17, 2011, 06:53:48 PM
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Quote
The Wikimedia Foundation, as a donor-driven organization, has a fiduciary duty to be responsible and prudent with its money. This has been interpreted to mean that we do not accept "artificial" currencies - that is, those not backed by the full faith and credit of an issuing government

Ahahahah what an idiocy, then they should instantly stop accepting dollar, euro and what else  Roll Eyes

Also they could simply sell bitcoin for their loved dollars, why they don't do it?  Roll Eyes

full faith+fiat currency=EPIC FAIL

Oh well i won't donate anything to wikipedia. Their choice.

Just calm down, nobody is asking you to donate.
Understand this, as a organization they have their guidelines, sudden brainless decisions would cause them trouble and raise eyebrows where not needed.
Really, not appropriate to declare "idiocy" at those things not in line with ones wishes/expectations.

Peace.
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November 18, 2011, 06:09:04 PM
 #15

It is a shame that Wikipedia are not willing/able to accept BTC directly.  I would certainly donate much more if they were able to accept them.  I would also be willing to provide contact information if they could not accept anonymous donations.

I'm glad they've taken the time to consider the possibility of accepting BTC.  Honestly though, the legal work involved for any organisation to start accepting BTC today is substantial and I feel it would be wiser for Wikipedia to wait for Bitcoin to settle down.  The work and risks should be taken by small upstart businesses looking for significant gains in the long term, not by a large and important charity.
Herodes
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November 21, 2011, 03:40:02 PM
 #16

I've written them an e-mail asking them to accept my bitcoin donation:

Quote
Hei!

I'd like to donate to Wikipedia, however I will only do it with bitcoins, which is the crypto-currency
of the future, and brings financial freedom to all individuals.

If you wonder what you can do with bitcoins, you can use it to purchase hosting, web-services, web-design,
coding, legal work and a whole range of other products as well.

Please learn more at: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Trade

Bitcoins can also readily be exchanged for dollars or any other local currency of your choosing, using
a bitcoin exchange, for instance mtgox.com or tradehill.com.

There are even people in the bitcoin community that will help wikipedia to implement bitcoin
payment in your current infra structure, for free.

There are already a whole range of persons lining up to donate bitcoins to Wikipedia:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=50158.0

I look forward to be given a bitcoin adress belonging to wikipedia, so that I can donate bitcoins.

The more of you forum members at bitcointalk.org that write an e-mail to wikipedia and offer to
make a donation, the better it is.

I see some people are saying that it's difficult to implement and accept bitcoin donations? How so?

If I wanted to, I could give a laptop to Wikipedia, would it be any different than giving a small gold-bar,
some dollars in cash to a Wikipedia representative or bitcoins?

I would think an organization like Wikipedia first of all would be interested in actually getting funds so
they can continue their operation.

If I had a wallet of say 10 BTC on my computer, I'd be happy to donate say 0.1 BTC every time I read
a wikipedia article that really helps me in my work/research.

One could argue that if I really wanted to donate to Wikipedia I could use other methods, like PAYPAL
or VISA. Why would I? I'd be interested in supporting Wikipedia, and not VISA or PAYPAL, those
entities charge fees, which really is not necessary to pay.

Wikipedia could even store the recieved bitcoins and use them to pay contributors that does significant
contributions, or use it for other purposes, or exchange it to dollars or any other currency.

I don't know what they're afraid of ? That VISA and PAYPAL would cut them off ? That the government
would pressure them to stop accepting bitcoin donations?

Bitcoin is about freedom, freedom to handle your own money, and as far as I can see, wikipedia is all
about giving information and knowledge to the population.

I think those two things are quite connected.
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November 25, 2011, 08:38:31 AM
 #17

If there really is a legal concern regarding not knowing the identity of the donor, they could still identify people eg through their credit card, while accepting the payment in bitcoin. Its a compromise I could live with.

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November 25, 2011, 09:05:28 AM
 #18

I can imagine their stance, to be honest. They are interested, but don't want to throw a team of lawyers at it right now, rather waiting for someone else to do it.

Wikimedia always tries to remain a neutral stance. If at some point Bitcoin is attacked or declared illegal by some government, they absolutely do not want to get caught in the crossfire. If they are holding bitcoins at that point, that would force them into bitcoin's camp.

Honestly, it's not a surprise they are reluctant. I'm actually rather surprised they seem so open to it.
Quote from: Wikimedia
We do … continue to monitor Bitcoin with interest and may revisit this position should circumstances change.

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November 25, 2011, 10:00:08 AM
 #19

Quote
Dear Max,

Thank you for your email. We have been looking into accepting BitCoins for some
time now, but at present we don't have the staff available to process BitCoin
payments as well as Direct Debits, Paypal and cheque/postal orders. There are also
concerns as to whether or not accepting BitCoins would be acceptable to the
Charities Commission - the currency is untraceable, which is something that the
Charities Commission may not be entirely happy with! That said, I'll put your
question forward to the Board, and they'll look into it.

Sincerely,

This can be solved in an instant by requiering the donor to fill in a email/name and phone number.
There you go. Not anonymous anymore.

So they mean that organizations that go out and ask for donations from people on the street should not take them because those people who give are anonymous? Are they kidding or do they not understand the foundation of independent organisations and donations?

It would be much better for them to get their money ONLY anonymously and here is why.

Case 1.

Lets say that google or apple would give them $millions for each year, during a few years.
That one or two single companies stand for 80% of their budget. They become dependent on these money since those are the money that payes their server costs etc.

Now this means they cannot mention any bad things about Apple/google/facebook, such as them using sweatshop workers or whatever because they now find themselves in a dependency situation.

Its almost like if Apple/google/facebook would bribe them.

Case 2

Even worse, lets say a mafia organisation or criminal individual gives them huge amounts of money non anonymously for a few years. Perhaps they dont even know yet that the person/organization is bad yet.

This buyes the mafia organisation good credibility and creates a dependency situation for wikipedia and associates them with this entity.
It also means that they can no longer take those well used money once this organisation is revealed to be a bad one and that their wikipedia name is dragged in the dust.

If they would they can no longer claim to be independent since they accepted/accepts donations from this entity.

What if Usama Bin Ladin was one of their biggest donators before or during the attack? How would that affect their brand?
Or lets say they were an old organization and Hitler was revealed to be one of their founding donators?

However if the donations was only given anonymously they could allways claim to be independent!
Since they would never know who give them money.

So another problem with not accepting anonymous money is that this acctually gives them the problem of having to turn down money from
certain organisations just to be able to claim that they are independent.

Acctually they should turn down money from non anonymous persons and companies etc just to be able to be trustworthy.
This means that they will get less money and be able to do less good. Not improving the world as much as they could.

This in fact is very important for a organization that wants to claim that we should trust their information to not be biased or censored.

So the truth is that its acctually way better for a independent media company to get anonymous donations, since this free them from any suspicion of dependency and links both now, in the future and in the past.
And it means that we can trust them to be as independent as possible and they are free to write what ever they want.

The fact is that they should preferably ONLY accept anonymous donations for the sake of independency.

I would say this.

Do not trust a media organisation that do not ONLY accept anonymous donations.

And if they still dont want anonymous money, they can simply ask for name and id number but they are not trustworthy anymore.

So this decision from wikipedia to not accept Bitcoins makes them not trustworthy anymore.

They cannot claim to be an independent trustable organisation until they only get anonymous donations such as Bitcoins or cash.









Bitcoins - Because we should not pay to use our money
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November 25, 2011, 10:14:53 AM
 #20

Good thinking. While you are it, allow only anonymous bitcoin donations for election campaigns. Anything else is just legalized bribing Smiley

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