Technology

Mozilla Suspends Accepting Crypto Donations After Backlash

Mozilla, the nonprofit that makes the Firefox web browser, announced Thursday that it would pause the ability to accept cryptocurrency donations after significant backlash, boosted in part by a Mozilla founder, Jamie Zawinski (via Business Insider).

Zawinski, who retired from mozilla.org in 1999, tweeted scathing criticism of a December 31 Mozilla Tweet promote that it was accepting cryptocurrency donations. Mozilla started accepting bitcoin for donations in 2014.

“Everyone involved in the project should be deeply ashamed of this decision to partner with planet-burning Ponzi grifters,” Zawinski said: on January 3. (Cryptocurrencies have come under heavy scrutiny for their environmental impact and the fact that most of the alleged crypto wealth currently appears to be available to a select few.)

Peter Linss, who created the Gecko engine underlying Firefox, tweeted his disapproval also for Mozilla. “What. The. Really. Damn,” he said. “You were supposed to be better than this.” And it’s not just them — lots of quote tweets from Mozilla’s December 31st post are cheeky.

On Thursday, Mozilla discussed the situation in a Twitter thread. “Last week we tweeted a reminder that Mozilla is accepting cryptocurrency donations,” mozilla said:. “This sparked an important discussion about the environmental impact of cryptocurrency.” Mozilla says it will “assess if and how our current crypto donation policies fit with our climate goals,” and will pause crypto donations while that review takes place. It too promised that the review will be “a transparent process” and that it will “share regular updates.”

However, Mozilla is not completely distancing itself from decentralized technologies such as cryptocurrency, say that “Decentralized web technology remains an important area for us to explore.”

Mozilla is just the latest company to shine a light on its involvement in cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies. Tesla was criticized last year for its decision to accept bitcoin as payment, and the policy was reversed shortly after. And game companies have recently been heavily criticized for their NFT efforts, with the developer of the upcoming game STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl going so far as to cancel its NFT plans entirely in response to outcry.