After announcing that it would accept cryptocurrency donations last week, the Mozilla Foundation suspended them following critical comments from a Mozilla founder and many others, TechCrunch reported. “As of today, we are examining if and how our current policy on cryptocurrency donations aligns with our climate goals,” the company tweeted.
Mozilla announced the new policy with a joker tweet, saying that people who “dabble @dogecoin” or “HODLing some #Bitcoin & Ethereum” can donate their crypto directly to the foundation. This was encountered by a caustic response from Mozilla co-founder Jamie Zawinski. “F *** you and fuck this,” he tweeted. “Everyone involved in the project should be ashamed of this decision to join forces with Ponzi scammers who are cremating the planet.” Peter Linss, the designer of the Gecko engine that powers Firefox, also intervened, telling Mozilla that “you were supposed to be better than this.”
So, starting today, we’re taking a look at whether and how our current crypto donation policy aligns with our climate goals. And while we do our review, we will be suspending the ability to donate cryptocurrency. 3/4
-Mozilla (@mozilla) January 6, 2022
Mozilla backtracked on the idea yesterday, saying in a tweet that the comments “have led to an important discussion about the environmental impact of cryptocurrency.” He added that “decentralized web technology continues to be an important area to explore, but a lot has changed since we started accepting crypto donations.”
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are created by solving complex mathematical problems and by design become more difficult to “mine” over time. They also need to be stored in a public ledger, which also consumes power. As a result, Bitcoin consumes more energy than many countries, and a lot of it comes from dirty sources like coal.
Tesla last year announcement that he would accept Bitcoin payment for his electric vehicles and even bought $ 1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin to ease the process. However, many people have pointed out that the environmental benefits of an electric vehicle could be greatly reduced by the mind-boggling amount of electricity needed to mine a single Bitcoin.
Mozilla said it will continue to explore the idea of the cryptocurrency donation, but will keep people updated this time around. “In the spirit of open source, it will be a transparent process and we will share regular updates,” the Foundation tweeted. “We look forward to having this conversation and appreciate our community for bringing this to our attention.”
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through any of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.