The Ukrainian government receives more than $10 million in cryptocurrency donations
Ukraine’s government has gathered more than $10 million in crypto donations, relying on an unusual crowdfunding strategy to help it survive Russia’s violent invasion.
On Saturday, the Ukrainian government’s official Twitter account revealed addresses for two crypto wallets, one accepting only bitcoin and the other ether and tether, a currency that monitors the value of the US dollar.
According to Elliptic, a blockchain analytics firm, those wallets had received $10.2 million in cryptocurrency as of February 27, 2022. This is in addition to the millions of dollars in digital currency contributed to non-governmental organizations that support the Ukrainian military.
According to Elliptic, almost $1.86 million of the money contributed to Ukraine’s government came from the sale of a non-fungible token, or NFT, which was originally intended to collect donations for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
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NFTs are one-of-a-kind digital assets used to symbolize ownership of virtual goods like artwork or video game characters.
The development demonstrates how Ukraine is looking to cryptocurrency for support during Russia’s military offensive, which began on February 24, 2022.
Since 2018, Come Back Alive, an NGO that delivers military equipment to Ukraine, has accepted cryptocurrency donations. Since Russia’s invasion began, it has raised millions of dollars in digital currency.
According to Elliptic, total crypto donations to the Ukrainian government and NGOs supporting the military now total $16.7 million.
“Cryptoassets such as Bitcoin have emerged as an important alternative crowdfunding method,” Tom Robinson, Elliptic’s chief scientist, wrote in a blog post on Sunday. “They allow quick, cross-border donations, which bypass financial institutions that might be blocking payments to these groups.”
Come Back Alive’s Patreon fundraising website was suspended this week, with the firm stating that it “does not allow any campaigns involving in violence or the purchase of military weaponry.” Patreon allows users to earn money on a monthly basis through paid subscriptions.
The Ukrainian military previously stated that it could not take funds in digital currencies such as bitcoin, stating on the government’s website that “national legislation does not allow the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine to use alternative payment systems (‘Webmoney,’ ‘Bitcoin,’ PayPal,′ etc.).”
However, the government appears to have softened its stance.
Separately, Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, called on major cryptocurrency exchanges to halt payments to Russian customers on February 27, 2022.
“It’s critical not only to freeze addresses associated with Russian and Belarusian politicians, but also to undermine ordinary people,” Fedorov tweeted.
On February 26, 2022, the United States, its European allies, and Canada agreed to suspend select Russian banks from Swift, the interbank messaging system. They also agreed to prevent Russia’s central bank from using its international reserves in ways that could jeopardize sanctions.
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