Miffed Wikimedia France Pumps the Brakes on Crypto
In April 2018, the Request Network crypto payments project announced it had partnered with the Wikimedia Foundation. It was an error that was eventually revised, as the REQ team clarified they’d partnered with the Foundation’s French arm, Wikimedia France. Now, that partner has gotten cold feet over the miscommunication.
Dead in the Water
The idea was for the Request Network team to help Wikimedia France integrate cryptocurrency donations into its operations. It’s not to be anymore, however, per a new announcement from the Request Network Foundation.
The somber community brief, titled a “Clarification on Wikimedia France,” notes that the dealbreaker resulted from the REQ Foundation’s initial declaration of partnering with the larger Wikimedia Foundation:
“Unfortunately we have learned that our announced partnership with Wikimedia France has come to an end. After a conversation between the French team and us, they have let us know that they want to pull out of the partnership due to ‘the way we initially (mis)communicated on the partnership publicly.’
We mistakingly reported our partnership to be with the Wikimedia Foundation using the Wikipedia logo in our April 27th blogpost. After getting notified quickly about this mistake by both the French team and the broader crypto community, we updated the announcement within 24 hours on the 28th of April. The updated article changed all Wikimedia Foundation references to the actual partner, Wikimedia France, and changed the incorrect use of the Wikipedia logo to the correct logo of Wikimedia France.
Unfortunately, if we understand correctly, this wasn’t quick enough for Wikimedia France and is the reason for this partnership to end.”
‘Lesson Learned,’ Crypto PR Style
In the crypto space, it’s no secret that bringing in big partnerships is the name of the game — adoption, adoption, adoption. The bigger the better, of course. It’s a dynamic that engenders a great deal of excitement, pressure, and work.
Alas, in such a high-intensity environment, excitement and hastiness can lead to mistakes, i.e. a miscommunication leading to a PR nightmare.
That’s where the Request Network’s leadership has found themselves at now, and, for their own purposes, all they can do is push ahead as positively and determined as possible. The REQ Foundation noted as much, saying they respected Wikimedia France’s decision, are open to a future team-up, and will continue to “fully focus” on developing the REQ ecosystem:
“Lesson learned. We miscommunicated, which resulted in a partnership ending that had great potential for both. We did not see this coming and we are not here to judge the Wikimedia France team. We do respect their decision.
We’re sad to see this relationship come to an end as our visions are still very much in line. The relationship we had together on fundraising for good could have made a real impact on the world. We will always keep the doors open for the Wikimedia France team to come back to us when they feel they are ready.
The end of this partnership will not hinder us from achieving even greater things in the fundraising space. We will continue to fully focus on delivering what we are working on, from both a product and partnership perspective.”
Cancellation Leads to Puzzlement, Frustration
Some in the REQ community have been puzzled by Wikimedia France’s crypto back-out, as u/healthilydetached noted on r/RequestNetwork:
Others, like u/GangsterOfTime, expressed disdain at the miscommunication:
Wikimedia France’s Explanation
Wikimedia France’s Secrétaire du conseil d’administration Nadine Le Lirzin said in group’s mailing list on May 28th that the deal was cancelled because Request Network “were so slow and reluctant” to rectify the original miscommunication.
“We deleted our blog post about it,” Le Lirzin wrote. “And we keep on trying to obtain the same from Request Network (who are turning a deaf ear until now).”
The Secrétaire also noted “no other cryptocurrency donations project is planned” going forward. Ouch.
What’s your take? Do you think Wikimedia France is being harsh, or has the REQ team dropped the ball? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Images via Reddit, Video Blocks