Mozilla stops accepting Crypto donations after criticism from users

Ashwin
Jan 11, 2022
Browsers
|
45

We saw an absurd amount of unwanted features creeping into Microsoft Edge recently. Now, it's time to talk about Mozilla's decision regarding crypto donations.

Mozilla's climate commitments

Towards the end of 2021, the Mozilla Foundation posted on Twitter, that it is accepting cryptocurrency donations to fund the development of the browser.

No, not this! Not you! This was my reaction. As a Firefox fanboy, I was annoyed by the decision. Look at Microsoft Edge and its recent controversies, or Chrome and its anti-adblock stance, or Brave and its wallet/cryptocurrency stuff. This is the time for Mozilla to capitalize and win over users for Firefox. Instead, you go and do this, to annoy uers.

ADVERTISEMENT

Many users raised their voice against Mozilla's statement, saying that this was not a good idea. This included the likes of Jamie Zawinski, a founder of Mozilla, and Peter Linss, the founder of Gecko.

users react to mozilla accepting crypto donations

Mozilla stops accepting Crypto donations after criticism from users

mozilla crypto decision reversal

A few days after the initial announcement, Mozilla backed out of the fiasco shamefacedly, and confirmed that it was reviewing how crypto donations fit its climate goals. The option to donate cryptocurrency was stopped, well technically paused. The new statement mentions that the company intends to explore the idea of decentralized web technology, and that in the spirit of open-source, the process will be transparent and users will be updated regularly about the process.

For those unaware of how cryptocurrencies work, these digital coins are powered by blockchains. Blockchains consist of users, more precisely, their computers. It's like a P2P file sharing network, except cryptos rely on heavy algorithms, which means the CPU alone is not enough for the task. A graphics card is required to compute and validate the transactions that take place within the blockchain. When a computer runs at maximum capacity, i.e. 100% usage, the fans will start whirring trying to maintain optimal operating temperature.

Imagine if the system is running non-stop to mine the crypto, the system fans are not going to be enough to deal with this problem. You will need an A/C to cool the computer, and since cryptomining is a 24/7 process, both the computer and the air conditioner will have to be running continuously. This ends up using a lot of electricity, which is not good for the environment.

Global warming is no joke, TechCrunch's report mentions that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin use more energy than some Countries. Here is an article from a year ago, that outlines Mozilla’s Climate Commitments, someone needs to read those before making these decisions, right?

Some of you may think, what's the big deal with Mozilla accepting crypto donations. There are other issues with Cryptocurrencies, like the rise of malware, ransomware, tax evasions, inflation, etc. NFTs are also part of this volatile ecosystem, which as you may be aware saw a ridiculous amount of growth in 2021.  How many cryptocurrencies are truly decentralized? Most of these sound like a sham, while someone pockets the profits.

As if these are reasons are not enough to hate cryptos, there is also the fact that they cause massive shortages in graphics cards because people who mine cryptocurrencies hoard the GPUs. As a result, sellers/Resellers mark up the price of GPUs to get their cut from the money fever. The sad part is that, people who actually need the graphics cards, i.e. gamers and graphic designers, they can't get the product because it's either out of stock, or they simply can't afford the high asking price. There are people out there who invested in these currencies, and eventually lost their money.

All things considered, it comes to no surprise that when Mozilla announced it is accepting Crypto donations, users lashed out at them. It's interesting that the company says the climate-centric concerns raised by users influenced their decision, but many users were actually worried about the nature of cryptocurrencies.

This whole thing feels bizarre, and not really well-thought-out. If anything, this is a PR disaster. It almost looks like someone at Mozilla was observing the rise of cryptocurrency and NFTs, and decided it was time to cash in, without thinking about how it could impact users. Was this a social experiment? If the majority of users agree with our decision, then we'll go ahead, but if they don't, we'll pretend nothing happened?

The backlash to this was well deserved. Kudos to the community for making the Mozilla Corporation reverse its decision. There are other ways for the organization to make money, through its VPN, its deal with Google (as the default search provider).

Summary
Mozilla stops accepting Crypto donations after criticism from users
Article Name
Mozilla stops accepting Crypto donations after criticism from users
Description
Mozilla, the maker of the popular open-source browser, Firefox, has announced that it will no longer accept Crypto donations from users.
Author
Publisher
Ghacks Technology News
Logo
Advertisement

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «

Comments

  1. riri0 said on January 11, 2022 at 12:40 pm
    Reply

    If you really were a Firefox fanboy, you should’ve reacted to them back in 2014 when they began accepting bitcoin. Reacting only now, entering 8 years since, means Mozilla has been contributing, directly or indirectly, to climate change since then. This shows that your article is merely jumping in on the climate change bandwagon that is gaining traction recently just for more clicks. Climate change is problem since forever. If you really were concerned, back then you would’ve told them no, and if now it still exists, you would reinforce your no, instead of just telling them no now, after the damage has been done.

    1. John G. said on January 11, 2022 at 9:06 pm
      Reply

      Let’s turn off all the computers and everything else and let’s go to the forest with smartphones made of wood! :D

      Rank Country CO2 emissions (tons)
      —————————————————
      1 China 10,432,751,400
      2 United States 5,011,686,600
      3 India 2,533,638,100
      4 Russia 1,661,899,300
      5 Japan 1,239,592,060
      6 Germany 775,752,190
      7 Canada 675,918,610
      ———————————————————

      1. Hassan said on January 11, 2022 at 11:32 pm
        Reply

        China’s commissions are somewhat unfair considering 12.4% of GLOBAL export(2018) comes from China. The majority of the export China does goes to the USA, so we can all sic on China for pollution but the alternative would have been factories in our backyards.

        China is just our way of moving our problems far away and pretend they don’t exist.

    2. :-) said on January 11, 2022 at 11:04 pm
      Reply

      You, me and everyone else living on this planet is contributing to climate change, stop being cringe.

      Go ahead and go live in the jungle, light up a fire to cook or warm yourself up and you’re contributing to climate change.

      Stop this non-sense.

    3. Trey said on January 11, 2022 at 11:11 pm
      Reply

      Wow, look at this guy. Maybe it’s possible to come to a conclusion over time.

    4. Klaas Vaak said on January 12, 2022 at 10:35 am
      Reply

      @riri0: if you really wanted to make a positive contribution to the discussion you would not make a harebrained assumption about Ashwin in 2014.

  2. ryuk said on January 11, 2022 at 12:50 pm
    Reply

    One step forward, two steps back. Good old Mozilla.

    https://blog.mozilla.org/en/mozilla/we-need-more-than-deplatforming/

  3. Yash said on January 11, 2022 at 12:58 pm
    Reply

    Only part which was appealing about Crypto at first glance was being able to remain anonymous but it turned there is nothing like that. So yeah users are well within their rights to force Mozilla to back down, which they had to do eventually.

  4. Iron Heart said on January 11, 2022 at 1:11 pm
    Reply

    Obligatory reminder that donations to “Mozilla” are not going to Firefox development:

    https://old.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/a98gmi/donations_to_mozilla_foundation_are_not_used_for/

    When you donate to “Mozilla”, you are not donating to the Mozilla Corporation that happens to be in charge of Firefox development, but instead to the Mozilla Foundation, which is then using the money to prop up third party SJW tech projects.

    Of course, they don’t immediately make this obvious… It is in the FAQ which is more or less the small print and is not immediately visible, thus enabling them to rake in a few million $$$ which most of the ignorant donors wrongly believe go to Firefox.

    If you want to support Firefox development monetarily, you can subscribe to the VPN plan of Mozilla Corp., but IMHO you shouldn’t do that either, because they are not even operating the service themselves at all, rather they only slap their brand on the existing Mullvad VPN. You should exclusively reward the one that actually operates the service, in this case Mullvad.

    1. Unknown person said on January 11, 2022 at 3:07 pm
      Reply

      “which is then using the money to prop up third party SJW tech projects.” And we got an alt-right!

      I would bring up Brave/crypto thing, but at least you have the decency to not being a hypocrite by targetting Mozilla directly on the crypto thing.

      1. Iron Heart said on January 11, 2022 at 3:23 pm
        Reply

        @Unknown person

        > And we got an alt-right!

        So not wanting donation money to go to domestic terrorism is wrong? Cool.

        https://www.foxnews.com/tech/mozilla-gave-100000-to-secure-email-platform-harnessed-by-antifa-groups

        SJW is the politest version I could find here, I could also say domestic terrorism, left-wing extremism, which would be accurate in this case. If not being OK with this type of shit (obvious extremism) makes me alt-right automatically, then so be it. I don’t care what over-politicized people like you, who know nothing about me in reality, think about me.

        PS: Funny that you react with an ad hominem directed at my supposed political convictions, but have no word to spare about the indecency of taking money while not making it super-obvious that the money is not at all funding Firefox development. Your silence on the matter is admittance that this is not a good thing after all.

      2. Yash said on January 11, 2022 at 4:00 pm
        Reply

        Sharing a fox news article. I hope that was you being sarcastic.

      3. Iron Heart said on January 11, 2022 at 4:47 pm
        Reply

        @Yash

        I have no idea how American media outlets relate to each other. I am not a US citizen. The information therein is accurate though.

        What you do strikes me as beheading the messenger.

      4. Yash said on January 11, 2022 at 6:05 pm
        Reply

        American politics is nothing but loads of BS especially when fox news is involved. Better grab some popcorns before reading another fox news article again.

      5. Iron Heart said on January 11, 2022 at 8:00 pm
        Reply

        @Yash

        Am I understanding this correctly, are you having a problem with the news outlet, or are you actually denying that Mozilla gave donor money to RiseUp, which is it?

      6. Yash said on January 11, 2022 at 8:17 pm
        Reply

        “or are you actually denying that Mozilla gave donor money to RiseUp”
        No. If Mozilla did it, so be it. I still haven’t read that article though. I just know where my money is going, that’s it. Eich did also donated in a place years ago. Does that warrant the stick he gets to this day? No. Everyone is free to do whatever they want with their money.

        “are you having a problem with the news outlet”
        and “I have no idea how American media outlets relate to each other”
        Actually American news outlets are nothing but source of entertainment. They provide endless comedy – includes both left and right. Most of the time they create hoax, nothing more. I’ll say this though current fox staff is better than Jimmy Fallon.

      7. DrKnow said on January 12, 2022 at 12:23 am
        Reply

        @Iron Heart
        Nothing FoxNews broadcasts or writes can in anyway be trusted as factual without backup from more legitimate sources.

        It’s basically a VERY right wing misinformation source of ‘news’.

        I’m not American either, however, I’m surprised you do not know just what a source of misinformation it is.

      8. Martin P. said on January 11, 2022 at 11:12 pm
        Reply

        @Yash

        LOL!!!! Indeed!

      9. oh noes said on January 11, 2022 at 3:48 pm
        Reply

        “SJW”

        I don’t like how as of the last few years Firefox’s appearance/theme has changed from a professional looking software to that rainbow barf like the SJW flag.

    2. corroded_iron_head said on January 12, 2022 at 12:47 pm
      Reply

      Yeah, we should all put iron coins in the coward wallet.

    3. Trey said on January 12, 2022 at 9:41 pm
      Reply

      Well… Mozilla founded the “Mozilla Information Trust Initiative” that partnered with a Soros-backed “fact checking” organization. Pretty much filtering information through a third-party that doesn’t meet their criteria. Everything Soros is involved with is Orwelian and so is Mozilla in this case.

  5. Tom Hawack said on January 11, 2022 at 1:17 pm
    Reply

    Great article, Ashwin.
    “This whole thing feels bizarre, and not really well-thought-out.”. It’s hysteria. One can make good business without becoming hysterical, it’s even what differenciates wealth from money maniacs. Nothing to do with political orientation. Crtypto currencies are insane and bound to break the system, not to improve it; in the same way that there is no capitalistic free market without free competion : the idea is that there are limits everywhere, even in a free world, and if one doesn’t rely on morality (business is not immoral, it’s amoral and, in the USA in particular given the country’s devotion to God, God has no entrance to stock exchange, does He?) then plain long-term intelligence should preval rather than short-term insane profit, the illustration of what can become of a capitalistic economy when finance prevals on industry and services.

    Happy of Mozilla’s u-turn, need to say.

  6. Paul(us) said on January 11, 2022 at 1:45 pm
    Reply

    It is really classy thing of Mozilla to show that they have backbone and decency by reversing a wrong decision.

  7. Peter said on January 11, 2022 at 2:59 pm
    Reply

    >”environmental impact”
    lol. mozilla cares about the environment about as much as your average corporation. it’s nothing more than a marketing buzzword to pander to the current bandwagon beliefs the customers is enthralled by. and of course they backpedaled, instead of telling people to stfu unless they’re willing to pay their bills. that’s what you do when you have no spine and try to do damage control because you are pandering.

    1. Iron Heart said on January 11, 2022 at 3:27 pm
      Reply

      @Peter

      > unless they’re willing to pay their bills

      Nobody needs to pay Mozilla’s deal. Firefox is funded by Google in reality, yet they act as if they are a small scale operation or some startup, when in they have over 700 employees in fact and can pay the CEO $3 million.

      When you donate to Mozilla, the money is in turn donated to bullshit projects. Look it up. Donations are not at all funding Firefox development.

      1. Peter said on January 11, 2022 at 6:28 pm
        Reply

        Figure of speech. Mozilla once was about foss, that’s what they should focus on, not dipping their toes in current political trends in a sad attempt of “hello fellow kids”. As far as the dubious financial practices go; Mitchell Baker should get the boot and replaced by someone less focused on personal gain. As long as that woman is in charge, Firefox will never become anything more or less than the default browser of Linux distros.

  8. Dave said on January 11, 2022 at 3:13 pm
    Reply

    This is supposed to be comedy, right?

    1. just an Ed said on January 11, 2022 at 4:05 pm
      Reply

      this whole thread is comedy. Politics ruins everything; especially “Holier than though” politics.

    2. ULBoom said on January 11, 2022 at 5:15 pm
      Reply

      It’s not OK to just make up things to feed non-sequitors? I better go back to Influencer School, maybe tear down that Logical Fallacies Poster.

      This Interwebnet thing is so confusing.

  9. Matt Mann said on January 11, 2022 at 4:03 pm
    Reply

    Good comments on both sides of the aisle if this was right or wrong of Mozilla.
    Mozilla did what they thought was best given the feedback of its users.
    As to why this wasn’t done sooner rather than later is a question we all ask ourselves
    when we make a decision that we later have second thoughts about.

    “To error is to be human….to really foul things up you need a computer”.

  10. ULBoom said on January 11, 2022 at 5:05 pm
    Reply

    Environmental impacts are so often buried in the obnoxious fanboy hubris, bullshit capabilities and the dorky pimping out of products meant to help the environment ( Electric cars, etc), their potential value can easily be forgotten.

    When we have to appeal to the five year old in everyone to get folks to listen, Big Tech’s goals have been reached. Suckers providing free marketing for our Overlords.

    Let’s see, how about a NFT for screenshots of streaming imaging of radiation leaks from N Plants? So rare, so valuable, so tiny, never ending. Then another for the Large Hardon Collider. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. The new big is small; the new small is big.

  11. Clairvaux said on January 11, 2022 at 5:30 pm
    Reply

    I had real trouble understanding the point of the article. Now I get it. What a farce.

    So for years, paying with crytocurrency was the virtuous thing to do, because it was impeccably communist : you sticked it to the Man, the big corporations, the CIA, the “government”…

    Tech companies which did not accept crypto were savaged on the Web — and they still are.

    Now, just allowing customers to pay with cryptocurrency is anathema, because… it goes against communism, again. You see, it’s a crime against (or for ?) global warming — which is a hoax.

    So here you are. Mozilla is not a technology provider, it’s a communist political party. Only the dogma varies from day to day, as befits communists. What was the height of political correctness one day gets you deported to the Gulag the next day.

    When I’m looking for a blasted browser, I look for computer technicians to provide it to me. And I want a browser which fits my technical needs. I don’t care if it kills a busload of penguins in the process. When I’m looking for a political party, I look for political activists whose ideas are the same as mine. I’m not asking them to fit my computing needs.

    I guess Mozilla is hoist by its own petard. When your main value becomes your political correctness, then don’t be surprised if your customers through the little red book at you. Mozilla employees have always been holier-than-thou. Now it’s their customers taking them to task for not being holy enough.

    I’ve long left this club of loonies. I now use Vivaldi, whose developers are not saints and whose users are not cult members. Vivaldi is just a terrific piece of software, made by people who love tech for customers who love tech. What a joy and what a relief.

    1. Ayy said on January 11, 2022 at 7:15 pm
      Reply

      Well said, especially the communist part.

    2. ChickenSoup said on January 11, 2022 at 9:43 pm
      Reply

      @Clairvaux
      You mean this is better or any different than what Mozilla does? of course Mozilla is bigger and has more influence so Vivaldi doesn’t make it so obvious the are just the same coin with a different face

      https://twitter.com/vivaldibrowser/status/1268199019400040455

      That piece of garbage Jon von Tetzchner not only decided to move to another country, he moved to USA, to get in politics he shouldn’t get into, he should just shut up and respect what he doesn’t even care about instead of pandering to some dumb people who might say “oh we love you for what you do”, I mean, he is the guy who said he would swim if he got like 4 million downloads in few days for an Opera release and he didn’t even make that, it was all marketing BS, just like BLM BS.
      But he can think whatever he wants, he can wash the feet and kiss them of BLM if he wanted to, the problem is how he moved to USA and then is all talking about it, he literally invaded a country to talk crap.

      I mean, some people disagree with Brendan Eich, even I do in some subjects, but not like the strongest one people hate him for, but you don’t see Brave retweeting anything Brendan says and less if it is political or controversial, so it is different than what Vivaldi did that day almost 2 years ago.

      In fact, last time I was thinking… what was the reason I said I would never use Vivaldi? and then searching I was like ohhh yeah, this was the reason! I still have a Vivaldi account, so I even used it before the whole “you need phone number to use our mail system” started, but I will not install it because like I said, they are not different than any other technology company pandering for dumb crap agendas that have nothing to do with technology, but it is what they have to do if they want to stay in business.

      1. Clairvaux said on January 12, 2022 at 3:07 am
        Reply

        He invaded a country. You mean, with tanks and 20 000 soldiers ? He’s an illegal immigrant ? Just because he posted one political tweet you do not like, you insult him and you won’t use his browser ?

        This has nothing to do with Mozilla. Politics make people dumb and crazy.

  12. Baris Cicek said on January 11, 2022 at 6:51 pm
    Reply

    I will not bother with the comments, some of which seemingly come directly from the Arkham Asylum. But I do not really understand what was *so* bad about accepting cryptocurrency donations. Take Monero, which exists for the sole purpose of respecting users’ privacy. I see nothing there that goes against the stated purposes of Mozilla Foundation (btw, there are probably some other cryptocurrencies that were designed with anonimity in mind, but their names escape me right now).

    Let’s put that aside. Cryptocurrencies are not inherently scams. Sure, many of them were created for their creators to make some quick cash and suck gullible people dry, but at its core, Bitcoin (and the technology that is blockchain) was created to take the power to influence the economy from the central banks. You can find that cause good or bad, but the fact is that it came into existence to dethrone fiat currencies, and all the scams are there to make their creators rich *in fiat currencies*. That is not Mozilla’s fault. Neither is the fact that people are burning ungodly amounts of fuel for some e-money.

    TL;DR: I don’t think there is anything wrong with accepting cryptocurrencies as donations. Cryptocurrencies are just another kind of valuable asset of varying quality. Mozilla saying that they are accepting cryptocurrency donations should not be regarded any differently from them saying that they are accepting the royalties from my badly drawn stick figures as donations. I did not understand why twitter users were so angry about *that fact alone* (then again it’s twitter lol), and I don’t understand why exactly the author of this piece thought “No! Not this! Not you!”.

  13. Not holier than thou said on January 11, 2022 at 7:45 pm
    Reply

    Is this just another case of people not thinking deeply enough?

    Theoretically, a bark hut uses less carbon than a concrete house. In practice, you are going to be building a lot of bark huts in the time it takes a concrete house to become inhabitable. Like real coins, cryptocurrency is not once then disappears. Once in circulation crypto remains in circulation. Unlike cash, once in existence it never needs replacement because it is worn. Theoretically, the Bitcoin that come’s into existence today may still be in use thousands of years from now (assuming the carbon produced in the short term doesn’t lead to the destruction of humanity).

    If you own some of the stuff (I don’t), don’t toss out your HDD by mistake; ensure you have a bullet-proof back-up system; don’t forget your password (Alzheimer’s disease may be incredibly costly); make sure at least two people have everything they need to access your crypto when you die and don’t travel with them.

    It is easy to criticize when you made the decision to not mine Bitcoin with your computer before people started using it to buy things. “What a stupid thing to do with a computer”.

    Cryptocurrency, the wealth of the mine-mine-mine generation.

  14. John G. said on January 11, 2022 at 8:56 pm
    Reply

    Dozens of numb rich people spending millions of dollars to buy any kind of NFT trash and here we have the Mozilla Foundation rejecting crypto donations. What a mistake please, money is money and every cent should be accepted! What’s next? Rejecting my money because I use a combustion car or because I use plastic bottles and sodas with sugar? :[

  15. dmacleo said on January 11, 2022 at 9:30 pm
    Reply

    so some tweets that were high profile changed their minds.
    I’M not gonna weigh into the crytpto debate, I don’t care.

    just saying high social media visibility critique changing a companies direction is something to watch for.
    what if the people involved here were coal/oil owners?

    companies need to make decisions then man up or man out for good.
    enough of this fking wishy washy crap.

  16. Neutrino said on January 11, 2022 at 10:11 pm
    Reply

    Wait, does this mean that the commies from Mozilla screwed up, because by being greedy they carelessly exposed their real “concern” about a commie created scam – the climate hoax?
    No wonder the twitterlings got triggered. The commies/lefties hate the truth . For them it’s like what the ozone hole allegedly does… pun intended.

  17. Anonymous said on January 11, 2022 at 11:35 pm
    Reply

    Strange.. Everyone praises Brave for its cryptocurrency rewards but when Mozilla did it, everyone is mad?

    1. John G. said on January 12, 2022 at 11:34 am
      Reply

      @Anonymous, Iyou’re right, it sounds like: let’s save the planet, no crypto currency accepted!

  18. some1 said on January 12, 2022 at 11:44 am
    Reply

    I did no expect such an uninformed article from a tech website!

    – There are may cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin that do not use resource intensive Proof-of-Work and are more suitable for small transactions.

    – There are specialized miners (ASIC). Regular graphics cards have been useless for crypto mining for years.

    “Rise of malware, ransomware” are you telling me there was none of that before crypto?!?

    “tax evasions” have you heard about tax heavens?!?! Switzerland’s banking industry’s sole purpose is to help rich people avoid taxes!

    “inflation” central banks printing money creates inflation. how is crypto responsible for that?!?!

    1. Anonymous said on January 12, 2022 at 5:56 pm
      Reply

      Yeah I though something similar. Why not just accept cryptos that don’t hurt the environment like Solana or Tezos?
      I suppose people on Twitter would not accept that so they nuked all cryptos as donations.

  19. Torin Doyle said on January 15, 2022 at 3:20 pm
    Reply

    I think Mozilla made the wrong decision here. I wonder how many of the users that complained, regularly consume animal products? The single best thing someone can do to reduce their impact on the environment is to go vegan. It’s easy to target certain companies but the difference we as individuals can make is immense.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.