I guess it was only a matter of time, but bitcoin donations have finally arrived to Wikipedia. The digital currency also seemed like a perfect match for Wikipedia as the website is in constant search for donations, while many users have expressed the sentiment that “if they would only accept bitcoins, I would make a donation”. The model of a user based encyclopedia where anyone can contribute to, also fits well with the notion of a decentralized currency uncontrolled by any single organization.
While Wikipedia has been approached repeatedly about accepting bitcoin payments, the organization had been quiet about its plans. However, in announcing that they would begin to accept bitcoins, Lisa Gruwell, Chief Revenue Officer, Wikimedia Foundation, cited recent advancements in how bitcoins are taxed as well as user demand, stating “ Members of our community have asked the Foundation to start accepting bitcoin. These requests, coupled with recent guidance from the US Internal Revenue Service, encouraged the Foundation to once again review our capacity to accept bitcoin.”
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Enabling bitcoin donations, Wikipedia partnered with Coinbase to integrate their merchant payment processing platform along with Wikipedia’s existing payment options for donations. For Coinbase, simultaneously announcing that they had been chose by Wikipedia to process their bitcoin donation, the company also announced the launch of zero processing fees for US non-profits registered as a 501(c) organization. Within their blog post announcing the news, Coinbase cited the importance of donations within the bitcoin community, stating “Charitable giving is emerging as a major consumer use case for bitcoin. Bitcoin enables donors to give 100% of their funds to causes they care about, and the convenience of bitcoin has inspired donors to donate small amounts when they previously might not have donated at all.”