Mike Melanson’s “This Week in Programming” column looks at what happened after Mozilla founder Jamie “jwz” Zawinski slammed the group for accepting donations in cryptocurrency (which Zawinski called partnering “with planet-incinerating Ponzi grifters.”)
Peter Linss, one of the creators of the Gecko browser engine on which Mozilla Firefox is based, also stepped in to back up Zawinski, saying that he was 100% with him and that Mozilla was “meant to be better than this.”
When Mozilla first announced it would accept Bitcoin donations in 2014, it cited Khan Academy, Electronic Frontier Foundation, United Way, Greenpeace, and Wikimedia Foundation among its moral and upstanding cryptocurrency-accepting compatriots. Of that list, just Greenpeace has since stopped accepting cryptocurrency donations, telling the Financial Times earlier this year that “as the amount of energy needed to run bitcoin became clearer, this policy [of accepting cryptocurrency donations] became no longer tenable.”
Thursday the Mozilla Foundation announced it was pausing cryptocurrency donations to review whether the idea “fits with our climate goals” — a fact the column also addresses:
In a follow-up blog post to the ordeal, Zawinski doubled down on his condemnation of Mozilla’s cryptocurrency acceptance, writing that “cryptocurrencies are not only an apocalyptic ecological disaster, and a greater-fool pyramid scheme, but are also incredibly toxic to the open web, another ideal that Mozilla used to support” — an idea also espoused in many of the comments on the initial Twitter thread.
Meanwhile, although Mozilla says that it is pausing the ability to donate cryptocurrencies during its review, the donations page still lists BitPay among its payment methods.