Mozilla backflips on accepting crypto after ‘planet incinerating’ backlash

The Mozilla Foundation has suspended cryptocurrency donations following a community backlash sparked by scathing criticism from co-founder Jamie Zawinski.

Last week, the development company behind the Firefox browser tweeted a call for cryptocurrency donations.

But today, Mozilla announced that it had stopped crypto donations due to online discussion about the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies.

Mozilla said it will continue to explore decentralized web technology, but will only resume crypto donations if it fits in with its climate goals. He said that in the spirit of open source, Mozilla will be transparent in the review process and share constant updates.

The drama began on December 31 when the organization called for cryptocurrency donations through the BitPay platform.

The nonprofit’s post drew disapproval from some members of its community, including Mozilla co-founder Jamie Zawinski. Although he has not been associated with Mozilla since 2000, he criticized the organization in the strongest possible terms:

“Everyone involved in the project should be terribly ashamed of this decision to partner with Ponzi scammers who incinerate planets.”

In a blog posted on his website on January 5, Zawinski spoke more about the cryptocurrency industry and what he claims is its unrealistic business model. Zawinski argues that industry manufactures pollution and turns it into money.

Some community members asked Mozilla to drop its call for donations and to explain how accepting crypto is in line with its mission to fight the ongoing climate crisis.

Twitter user Melissa (@mcbyrne) saying, “Bitcoin is bad for [the] weather “, while @seglegs disputed why Mozilla was an “enabling environmental catastrophe” by backing crypto.

Some community members pointed to a company blog on the organization’s climate commitments on January 21 of last year in which CEO Mitchell Baker is quoted as talking about Mozilla and its commitment to protecting the environment and addressing the climate crisis.

According to the New York Times, Bitcoin mining consumes more than 91 terawatt hours of electricity per year, almost 0.5% of global electricity consumption annually.

Mozilla is the latest high-profile example to face the ire of some users after making crypto and NFT related announcements. In recent months, Ubisoft, Square Enix, Kickstarter, and Discord have faced criticism due to the environmental effects of mining and have raised concerns about crypto scams and fraud.

Popular video game company Square Enix faced criticism from gamers on social media when President Yosuke Matsuda showed his appreciation for blockchain games, NFT and the metaverse over the weekend. On the other hand, money speaks louder than keyboard warriors and their comments led to an 8% increase in the stock price.

Related: New LGBTQ token targets fairness but raises red flags with community

Gaming giant Ubisoft faced harsh criticism from its users when announcing the launch of NFT in-game on December 7. Despite significant backlash, Ubisoft will continue its initiative in the form of dynamic NFTs with Aleph.im.

Also in early December, Kickstarter announced plans to develop a decentralized crowdfunding platform. Some users threatened to leave the platform due to the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies.

On November 9, Discord CEO Jason Citron shared a tweet indicating the company’s intention to allow users to connect a crypto wallet to their accounts. Users raised concerns and spoke about the amount of power required to process blockchain transactions and the potential for money laundering and scams in crypto and NFT.

Just two days after posting the tweet, Citron backtracked and said the company had no current plans to integrate Web 3.0 concepts and is committed to protecting its users from fraud, spam and scams.