We recently saw an absurd amount of unwanted functionality creep into Microsoft Edge. Now, it’s time to talk about Mozilla’s decision regarding crypto donations.
Towards the end of 2021, the Mozilla Foundation posted on Twitter that it is accepting donations of cryptocurrency to fund browser development.
No, not that ! Not you! It 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. Now is the time for Mozilla to capitalize and win over Firefox users. Instead, you are going to do it, to annoy users.
Many users have spoken out against Mozilla’s statement, saying it is not a good idea. This included the love by Jamie Zawinski, founder of Mozilla, and Peter Linss, founder of Gecko.
Mozilla Stops Accepting Crypto Donations After User Reviews
A few days after the initial announcement, Mozilla retreated shamefully of the fiasco, and confirmed that he is examining how crypto donations matched his climate goals. The option to donate cryptocurrency has been discontinued, well on a technical hiatus. 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 regularly informed about the process.
For those who don’t know how cryptocurrencies work, these digital coins are powered by blockchains. Blockchains are made up of users, more specifically their computers. It’s like a P2P file-sharing network, except cryptos rely on heavy algorithms, which means CPU alone is not enough for the task. A graphics card is needed to calculate and validate the transactions that take place within the blockchain. When a computer is operating at its maximum capacity, that is, at 100% utilization, the fans will whirl around trying to maintain an optimum operating temperature.
Imagine if the system is running nonstop to mine crypto, the system fans will not be enough to cope with this problem. You will need an air conditioner to cool the computer, and since cryptomining is a 24/7 process, both the computer and the air conditioner will need to run continuously. This ends up consuming a lot of electricity, which is not good for the environment.
Global warming is no joke, TechCrunchThe report mentions that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin use more energy than some countries. Here is an article from a year ago that describes Mozilla’s climate commitments, someone has to read them before making these decisions, right?
Some of you may be thinking, what’s the matter with Mozilla accepting crypto donations. There are other issues with cryptocurrencies like the rise of malware, ransomware, tax evasion, inflation, and more. NFTs are also part of this volatile ecosystem, which as you may know has seen ridiculous growth in 2021. How many cryptocurrencies are truly decentralized? Most of them sound like a sham while someone is pocketing the profits.
As if those reasons weren’t enough to hate cryptos, there’s also the fact that they’re causing massive graphics card shortages as people who mine cryptocurrency accumulate GPUs. As a result, sellers / resellers mark up the price of GPUs to get their share of the money fever. The sad part is that the people who really need the graphics cards i.e. gamers and graphic designers cannot get the product because it is either out of stock or because it is out of stock. that they simply cannot afford the high asking price. There are people who invested in these currencies and ended up losing their money.
All things considered, it’s no surprise that when Mozilla announced that it was accepting donations from Crypto, users lashed out at them. Interestingly, the company claims that the climate concerns raised by users influenced their decision, but many users were actually concerned about the nature of cryptocurrencies.
It all sounds weird and not really well thought out. If anything, it’s a public relations disaster. It almost looks like someone at Mozilla was watching the rise of cryptocurrency and NFTs, and decided it was time to cash in, not thinking about the impact it might have on users. Was it 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 has happened?
The backlash was well deserved. Kudos to the community for getting Mozilla Corporation back on their decision. There are other ways for the organization to make money, through its VPN, its agreement with Google (as the default search engine).