Wikipedia co-founder says Bitcoin doesn’t work, BTC community snaps back

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales took to X (formerly Twitter) on Dec. 11 to take a shot at Bitcoin (BTC), bragging that while many users have lost their Bitcoin because they forgot their wallet passwords, he’s never lost any money due to losing his bank password.

Wales’ comments didn’t resonate well with the wider Bitcoin and crypto community, who snapped back at the Wikipedia co-founder about its dependence on donations to run day-to-day operations.

In his X post, Wales sarcastically claimed that he forgot the password to his bank account and lost all his cash, only to then mock the BTC community by adding, “No, actually, that didn’t happen because banks work and Bitcoin doesn’t.”

The Bitcoin community blasted the Wikipedia co-founder for taking an unprovoked shot at BTC. It reminded Wales that while banks might work, they’re not for everyone, and many people around the world don’t have access to banking services.

Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer at the Human Rights Foundation group, reminded Wales that banks work decently in countries with the rule of law and strong currencies. He added that only about a billion people out of the world’s population of 8 billion have access to banking services.

Lyn Alden, the founder of Lyn Alden Investment Strategy, said even those with bank accounts aren’t secure at all times, citing the example of a Lebanese doctor who lost 95% of their savings due to hyperinflation.

Bitcoin proponents like Samson Mow went on the offensive and reminded the Wikipedia co-founder about the plight of his firm, which depends on donations for its survival. Mow said if Wikipedia just “bought Bitcoin a few years ago as I suggested, you wouldn’t have to beg for donations every year in perpetuity.”

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A few others pointed out the centralization of the banking system, reiterating that it doesn’t work for everyone.

Danny Scott, CEO of Bitcoin exchange Coin Corner, told Wales that he is comparing two different things. He noted that the scenario is more akin to a user forgetting his password to a Bitcoin exchange, in which case they could reset it, like a bank. He added, Physically storing the cash yourself would be a better example, but you lose that, and it’s gone, the same as Bitcoin.”

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