Mozilla succumbs to crypto ‘hysteria’ and the community is not pleased

Namrata Shukla
Source: Pixabay

Mozilla Foundation thought it was doing well as a crypto adopter and tech supporter when it opened the lines for donations in digital assets through BitPay, but it could not have been more wrong. The foundation that oversees the development of the Firefox browser witnessed immense backlash from many in the space including a founder of the Mozilla project over the environmental impact of cryptos.

New year, New lessons

The American nonprofit tweeted on New Year’s Eve about accepting donations to the foundation using different types of crypto from Bitcoin to Dogecoin. However, its founder Jamie Zawinski was not impressed but conscience-stricken.

Zawinski responded to the tweet stating “Everyone involved in the project should be witheringly ashamed of this decision to partner with planet-incinerating Ponzi grifters.” In fact, he was also joined by the Gecko founder Peter Linss, the engine powering the browser, to tell Mozilla “you were meant to be better than this.”

Noticing the growing backlash, Mozilla backtracked its steps to accept crypto donations and noted in a tweet thread on Thursday,

“Decentralized web technology continues to be an important area for us to explore, but a lot has changed since we started accepting crypto donations.”

It added that the foundation was “reviewing if and how our current policy on crypto donations fits with our climate goals.” It added,

“And as we conduct our review, we will pause the ability to donate cryptocurrency.”

The review process will be transparent for all to see and will hold the essence of open-source technology.

Uniformed claims…?

This was not the first time anyone spoke about the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies and related activities like mining. Previously, the world was all ears when Elon Musk spoke about the negative impacts of Bitcoin mining. However, even he was met with many from the Bitcoin and extended crypto community to point at misinformation.

Adam Back was among those who came to crypto’s aid and responded to Linns,

“the pair of you evidently know very little about #bitcoin if that’s what you’re talking about. if you know Greg Maxwell (ex-Mozilla) why don’t you have an offline voice brain-dump from him and catch up before saying uninformed things. just a suggestion.”

While Ari Paul, co-founder, and CIO of BlockTower Capital jumped in on the Zawinski thread to ask him to “spend 5 minutes learning about the electricity side”. He added,

“Crypto has been the world’s largest evergreen energy subsidy and we’ve seen the beneficial effects already. PoW has a more renewables heavy energy mix than any industry.”

Meanwhile, the creator of the meme coin Dogecoin, Billy Markus found the anti-crypto ranting “insufferable.” He tweeted,

Even though Mozilla’s actions were met with scrutiny from founders and users, its backtracking did not receive favors from anyone either. Instead, it may see crypto-inclined users leave the browser like Ethereum developer Lefteris Karapetsas who stated,

“A pity that you guys fall victim to the hysteria and hate on crypto that is seen around lately.
Had just started using firefox again to allow for some diversity against chrome’s engine but am switching back after seeing this.”