Time is all about making your past look like a fool in front of your present. When bitcoin was introduced, we would have laughed at the idea of its transaction, leave alone its acceptance as donation. But today, we find ourselves standing in front of the mirror, looking at our past and laughing on our foolishness.
Wikimedia Foundation, the American non-profit and charitable organization mostly known for hosting Wikipedia has today announced that it will accept donations in one more currency, bitcoin.
Lisa Gruwell, Chief Revenue Officer, Wikimedia Foundation mentioned in the official blog,
It has always been important to the Foundation to make sure donating is as simple and inclusive as possible. Currently, we accept 13 different payment methods enabling donations from nearly every country in the world, and today, we’re adding one more: bitcoin.
Bitcoin, a relatively new digital currency, is currently being accepted by a growing number of institutions and merchants throughout the world. Wikimedia Foundation was asked by its community members to start accepting bitcoin. These requests, coupled with recent guidance from the US Internal Revenue Service, encouraged the Foundation to accept bitcoin.
Lisa stated that the foundation has done its due diligence and during this review, they have identified a new way to work around past technical challenges, as well as to minimize the legal risks of accepting bitcoin. She said,
Through our work with Coinbase, a bitcoin wallet and payment processor, we’re able to immediately convert bitcoin to U.S. dollars, requiring minimal technical implementation on our end. Since we now also have guidance on how to account for bitcoin, there is a clear understanding of how to legally manage it.
If you are interested in donating bitcoin to the Wikimedia Foundation, you can now do so on our Ways to Give page.
Even as Bitcoin interest in India is picking up (Bangalore recently hosted India’s first global Bitcoin conference), banking regulators are still undecided on how to handle the currency.