Wikipedia founder has no interest in an ICO

August 01, 2018
Chris Wheal

Jimmy Wales, founder of the not-for-profit online encyclopaedia platform Wikipedia, said on Wednesday he had “zero interest” in holding an initial coin offering for the company.

Jimmy Wales: Wikipedia founder says he has reservations about blockchain

Speaking to Business Insider on the sidelines of a blockchain conference in Berlin, Wales said “We are absolutely never going to do that – zero interest.”


Wikipedia is funded rather like a US pubic radio station, through advertising on its own pages for contributions from the public and organisations.

While cryptocurrencies hold no interest for Wales, he is becoming more attuned to the possibilities of blockchain, despite being an outspoken critic of the technology.

He told Business Insider in an interview: “I have reservations about blockchain. It’s a super-interesting technology, but it’s clearly a bubble with a lot of mania and hype around it.”

Fake news

Wales is currently working on WikiTribune – a for-profit media project aimed at circumventing fake news by pitching together journalists with volunteers to fact check and research the day’s news stories.

Perhaps, then it’s no mystery as to why Wales appeared at a blockchain event in Berlin: blockchain has been touted as a technology that has the capability to help reduce the scourge of fake news by feeding stories first into a network of blockchain-enabled verifiers who check facts before publishing.

But he didn’t admit to any interest here, either: “People pay me to give speeches, so I flew to Berlin. I really do like the city, I think it’s great.”

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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