Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales considering Bitcoin wages

Jimmy Wales, one of the founders of Wikipedia, has announced to the Bitcoin community that he will accept Bitcoin donations in a bid to fund the salaries of journalists at his new news service, Wikitribune.

In a message posted to Reddit a few days ago, the Wikipedia founder shared his ideas for a Bitcoin-funded journalist to report on news related to the cryptocurrency. He also said he was reaching out to the community as a previous drive for donations to Wikipedia proved fruitful. In his Reddit post, he suggested that Bitcoin can have a part to play in shaping the future of the media, saying: “I’m particularly thinking of this community as a great example of how lots of things are underserved by traditional media models.”

His suggestion to the Bitcoin community of Reddit is for donations to fund journalists’ salaries as the financial model of Wikitribune will be ad-free and based purely on donations. As such, he needs to source funding from somewhere and explained that normally with donations “around 50% of contributions will go to journalist salaries with the rest going to tech and other overhead”. However, Wales feels an affinity with the Bitcoin community and hoping to spread the word of Bitcoin and get more access to Bitcoin news, he pledged to “use 100% of contributions that arrive at that address to hire high quality neutral reporters for the bitcoin/blockchain beat”.

It is a welcome endorsemenet from such an influential figure in online media. Wales’ position on cryptocurrencies has progressed a long way. When first questioned in 2012, he described his position as “cautiously skeptical” while recognising “it may provide the intellectual and experimental groundwork for something more widely usable and consumer friendly in the future”.

He later modified his position to one of curiosity and, in 2014, he publicly announced that he wanted to “play around” with Bitcoin and that he had been using it to get a hold of how it works. He also posted his Bitcoin address, a move which led to unsolicited donations of 5BTC. Over the next few months, he detailed his research of the cryptocurrency and on the 30th of July, 2014, the Wikimedia Foundation, the parent company of Wikipedia, announced that they would be accepting Bitcoin donations.

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