Mozilla Under Fire For Accepting Crypto, Stops All Digital Currency Donations

Mozilla under fire for accepting crypto donations

The backlash was partially spurred by Mozilla’s founder, Jamie Zawinski, who stopped working for mozilla.org in 1999. Mozilla started accepting digital currency donations back in 2014 when it opened its doors to Bitcoin. On December 31st, 2021, the organization used its Twitter account to remind followers that it will accept cryptocurrency donations, and the tweet attracted heavy amounts of criticism.

Zawinski criticized the tweet on his own Twitter on January 3rd, stating that everyone involved with the project should be “witheringly ashamed” of the decision to partner with the “planet-incinerating Ponzi grifters.” Mozilla founder’s tweet is a nod to the growing criticism that the crypto industry was facing due to its impact on the environment, and the fact that a large portion of crypto wealth is in the hands of the wealthy minority.

Peter Linss, who designed the Gecko — the engine Firefox is built on — echoed Zawinski’s disapproval. Multiple others who retweeted the original Mozilla tweet also had some rather brutal commentary.

Mozilla finally addressed the situation on Thursday, January 6th. The organization noted that their tweet led to “an important discussion about cryptocurrency’s environmental impact.” Given a new outlook on the problem, Mozilla plans to review if and how its current policy regarding crypto donations fits with its climate goals. During this period of review, the organization will pause crypto donations, without any indication of when or if it will start accepting digital currency donations again.

However, Mozilla promised that it will share regular updates regarding the review process and that it will make its policy as transparent as possible.

Mozilla’s community reacts positively to the decision

Despite its decision to stop crypto donations, for the time being, Mozilla decided not to completely distance itself from decentralized technologies. The organization noted that it views decentralized web technology as an important area for exploration.

Following its announcements, Linss acknowledged the company’s willingness to listen to criticism, stating that he is “glad Mozilla reversed course here.” He pointed out that Mozilla plays a crucial role in keeping the web open. Linss also acknowledged the contribution of Mozilla’s fans in keeping the organization accountable.

However, Zawinski’s response to the organization’s move remained quite critical of Mozilla and cryptocurrencies alike.

The environmental impacts of cryptocurrency grew stronger than ever in 2021. It is what forced Tesla to stop accepting Bitcoin payments in May last year.

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