We’re fortunate that millions of people all over the world support the work of the Wikimedia Foundation through donations. It has always been important to the Foundation to make sure donating is as simple and inclusive as possible. Currently, we accept 13 different payment methods enabling donations from nearly every country in the world, and today, we’re adding one more: bitcoin.

For those unfamiliar with bitcoin, it’s a relatively new digital currency, currently being accepted by a growing number of institutions and merchants throughout the world. Members of our community have asked the Foundation to start accepting bitcoin. These requests, coupled with recent guidance from the US Internal Revenue Service, encouraged the Foundation to once again review our capacity to accept bitcoin.

During this review, we identified a new way to work around past technical challenges, as well as to minimize the legal risks of accepting bitcoin. Through our work with Coinbase, a bitcoin wallet and payment processor, we’re able to immediately convert bitcoin to U.S. dollars, requiring minimal technical implementation on our end. Since we now also have guidance on how to account for bitcoin, there is a clear understanding of how to legally manage it.

If you are interested in donating bitcoin to the Wikimedia Foundation, you can now do so on our Ways to Give page. Thank you again to all our friends and supporters. Your support enables us to realize the Wikimedia vision – a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.

Lisa Gruwell
Chief Revenue Officer, Wikimedia Foundation

2014-07-30: Edited to clarify implementation details