Jimmy Wales, president of Wikia, Inc. and co-founder of Wikipedia, took to Reddit on Monday morning to discuss Bitcoin.
He admitted that he had opened an account with Coinbase but had thus far only used it “to play around.” Nevertheless, Bitcoin users began sending donations to his address. Wales said he would “cash them out” soon as donations to Wikimedia, Inc.
Wikipedia is one of the most-viewed websites on the planet, but its company, Wikimedia, Inc. is a not-for-profit and relies on regular donation drives to sustain the site.
Here is Wales’ summary of where Bitcoin donations stand in regard to Wikipedia:
“I'm planning to re-open the conversation with the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Directors at our next meeting (and before, by email) about whether Wikimedia should accept bitcoin. One reason (not the only reason) that we haven't is that setting it up as an option during the fundraiser has a lot of implications (we know, for example, and you will likely find this counterintuitive, that the more payment options we give people, the less they donate). But it occurs to me that they could just set up an account on coinbase and announce it via social media, and not bother with integrating it into donation screens and all that. The BTC community is pretty close-knit and generous, so that'd probably work pretty well.”
Coinbase joins the conversation
A representative from Coinbase jumped in to help Wales address a few questions he either asked or at least implied:
“Coinbase is a little different because it's a hosted wallet. This means you can use bitcoin addresses, donation buttons, and even emails to receive payments into your account there. Once the bitcoins arrive, they are moved off the address itself into the website's hot wallet for security and privacy concerns. We eventually end up storing more than 97% of funds offline.
“When you get sent a bitcoin payment, you'll see it moved in the blockchain (this is normal) so the best way to check your wallet's balance is the total shown at the top of every page, and the transaction page.
“We're glad to see the Wikimedia Foundation interested in accepting bitcoin donations. Remember that when receiving funds, you'll also have the option to immediately lock in the USD conversion rate at Coinbase if you'd rather not hold the bitcoin. This can help avoid fluctuations in market price, and still maintain an innovative channel by which your supporters can contribute!”