At the start of 2022, Mozilla found ourselves in the middle of a heated discussion about cryptocurrency. Mozilla, a nonprofit, had been accepting cryptocurrency donations since 2014. But we hadn’t reassessed that decision since Mozilla published its climate commitments — and since cryptocurrency’s environmental toll has become more apparent.

In January, following feedback from staff and supporters, we decided to pause the ability to donate cryptocurrency and announced we would conduct a review. We wanted to increase our understanding of cryptocurrency’s environmental impact, and determine if and when Mozilla should accept cryptocurrency donations.

I’m writing to share the results of that review. Starting today, we are updating our donation policy:

  1. Mozilla will no longer accept 'proof-of-work' cryptocurrencies, which are more energy intensive.
  2. Mozilla will accept 'proof-of-stake' cryptocurrencies, which are less energy intensive. Mozilla will develop and share a list of cryptocurrencies we accept by the end of Q2 2022.

These decisions are informed by our climate commitments. In January 2021 Mozilla pledged to significantly reduce our greenhouse gas footprint year over year, aiming to exceed the net zero emissions commitment of the Paris Climate Agreement. The first update to our donation policy targets that commitment: Proof-of-work cryptocurrencies can significantly increase our GHG footprint due to their energy intensive nature. Mozilla’s decision not to accept proof-of-work donations ensures that our fundraising activities remain aligned with our emissions commitment.

In our climate commitments, we also promised to help develop, design, and improve products from a sustainability perspective. We believe that Mozilla can play a positive role in the industry by encouraging those cryptocurrencies that we do accept to be transparent about their energy consumption patterns.

You can find more about this decision on Mozilla’s wiki. We’re grateful to the community for participating in this conversation, and helping us reach this important decision about donations.