Speaking at the London-based CoinGeek Conference, Jimmy Wales said that cryptocurrencies would not add anything valuable to Wikipedia. In fact, he believed it would be detrimental to its vision and ultimately damage the platform's unique way of operating.
Speaking alongside Craig Wright, Wales said he was trying to distinguish between cryptocurrencies ' theoretical and functional existence. Wales has already turned down advocates ' ideas, who asked him to consider allowing users to directly reward content creators and editors with digital assets.
"This is a really bad idea, it's an idea that simply doesn't work," Wales said. "If you take something that is a bad idea and put it on the blockchain, that doesn't necessarily make it a good idea." Wikipedia relies on volunteer experts and enthusiasts to add and edit new content, as well as check facts and remove material that is inaccurate or irrelevant, Wales said. Wikipedia would be "taking a step back" by incorporating cryptocurrency and making it easier for people and businesses to pay for the content they want on the website, he said.
"It's not going to help Wikipedia content at all to build a system where you effectively authenticate that type of behavior…," Wales said.
Wales also said it would "seriously harm" Wikipedia to get creators and editors to stake the cryptocurrency.
"To tell them you'll have to pay or put money at risk to edit Wikipedia is totally insane," he said.
If the platform allows people to place deposits they could exclude experts and enthusiasts who contribute to their chosen topic out of interest. In their place, for monetary gain, he argued, people would be competing effectively against one another to create and edit content, as well as flag inaccurate entries.
While he opposed creating incentives for Wikipedia posters, Wales said he had no problem accepting donations in various forms of cryptocurrency on the platform. Wikipedia is a charity, and has accepted Bitcoin (BTC) donations since 2014.
There was some controversy at the CoinGeek Conference in London when Wales was announced as the headline speaker. Criticizing CoinGeek for claiming that he has supported bitcoin satoshi vision (BSV), Wales said there was "zero possibility" that BSV would ever be used on Wikipedia.
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