Wikipedia’s co-founder, Jimmy Wales said the website will not be jumping on the cryptocurrency bandwagon. Jimmy Wales made an appearance at the BlockShow Europe back in May and raised many eyebrows from guests in attendance when he stated he will not be following several others who are joining the cryptocurrency movement.
Following Wales’ comment of not joining in on crypto he says, Wikipedia will “absolutely never” hold an ICO nor issue their own cryptocurrency; also mentioning Wikipedia had “zero interest” in being a part of the cryptocurrency trend.
Wales is well-known for his critical attitude toward ICOs and cryptocurrencies and it has been further revealed that his main purpose for attending the conference was to warm others who participate in crypto for a “rude awakening.” It is clear that Jimmy Wales was not in attendance in Berlin to announce his intention to join the development of the technology.
“It’s a super-interesting technology, but it’s clearly a bubble with a lot of mania and hype around it. People pay me to give speeches, so I flew to Berlin. I really do like the city.”
This is not the first time Wales has become skeptical of crypto; in the past Wales claimed that many ICOs are an “absolute scam” and that they offer “nothing of value.”
While Wales has passed on ICOs and cryptocurrencies, he does still accept donations made in the form of bitcoin. His Wikipedia pages are primarily maintained by public volunteers and use traditional donations to maintain the site. Wikipedia began accepting donations through the top cryptocurrency, bitcoin, in 2014 after Wales mentioned he was very cautious about the developing technology.
ICOs have continuously successfully raised funds for a variety of ventures, including the blockchain platform EOS. If Wikipedia were to add their own form of token offerings, it could potentially provide funding benefits since the website is widespread and uses a large community of editors on the webpage.
Although Jimmy Wales has passed on cryptocurrency, there are still several other online encyclopedia platforms that use a cryptocurrency. For example, an Ethereum-based platform, Lunyr, uses a service token to reward users for their contributions. Lunyr is quite similar to Wikipedia except for the fact that they give their service tokens to individuals whenever they contribute to Lunyr.
While Lunyr currently has 3,080 articles, Wikipedia has over five million but, Lunyr believes that their blockchain encyclopedia can help solve “the problem of inaccurate information.” They believe this is possible due to the economic incentive, like the platform’s token, that encourages users to provide accurate information.
Though Wikipedia could benefit from starting their own currency token, many have raised the question, “do they really need it to improve donations?” The dominance of Wikipedia raised over $80 million in donations in 2017. Wikipedia has proved they are doing just fine without a service token which makes Wales’ decision come with little to no shock.