Wikipedia founder receives thousands of bitcoin donations

12 Mar 2014

Wikipedia’s founder, Jimmy Wales, has received thousands of donations in bitcoin after he accidentally leaked his Bitcoin wallet address on Twitter.

As founder of one of the largest sources of free information on the web, Wales has, since Wikipedia’s foundation, called on the general public to donate to the website as it is a charity-run organisation.

However, after he had tweeted on 6 March that he was “Playing with Bitcoin today” with the purchase of 0.1 bitcoin, Wales shared his Bitcoin address with his Twitter and Reddit followers.

Within a day, Wikipedia and Wales received just under 18 bitcoins, or US$11,235 at the time of writing, from thousands of donations worldwide. The amount is far more than they had anticipated.

Speaking about dabbling in bitcoin, Wales has said, “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.”

The encouraging start has prompted Wales to seriously consider the cryptocurrency but, like many, is hesitant, given the currency’s current instability.

According to TechCrunch, Wikipedia is unlikely to include a donation button on the website any time soon but will rather give forums and websites familiar with the currency, such as Reddit and, the wallet donation address if anyone wishes to donate bitcoin in the future.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic