Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, plans to discuss with the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Directors the possibility of the famous Internet encyclopaedia accepting bitcoin.
Wales has been experimenting with digital currency, recently setting up a bitcoin wallet with Coinbase and posting his wallet address on Twitter.
This is my bitcoin address: 1McNsCTN26zkBSHs9fsgUHHy8u5S1PY5q3 @Kosmatos
— Jimmy Wales (@jimmy_wales) March 6, 2014
Blockchain shows that, since Thursday (6th March), the wallet address has received around 5 BTC, which is currently worth around $3,104.
Wales said he will “of course” donate all of the bitcoins he has received to Wikipedia.
In a Reddit post, the entrepreneur said:
“I’ve been watching bitcoin for a long time, of course, and I thought it past due to test it as a consumer – how hard is it, how confusing is it, etc.”
Wales’ Reddit post continued: “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.
He explained that one reason Wikimedia hasn’t yet added bitcoin as a funding method is that doing so “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,” he added.
Wales suggested Wikipedia could simply set up an account on Coinbase and publish its wallet address on social media, without integrating it into Wikipedia’s donation screens.
“The BTC community is pretty close-knit and generous, so that’d probably work pretty well,” he concluded.
Currently, Wikipedia accepts donations in a variety of currencies via a number of payment methods, including credit/debit card, PayPal, bank transfer and cheque.