November 29, 2022

Ukraine raises $54 million as Bitcoin donations surge amid Russia's war

Ukraine raises $54 million as Bitcoin donations surge amid Russia’s war

Local residents look in front of partially empty shelves at a supermarket in Kyiv, Ukraine, March 3, 2022.

Mikhailo Markev | Reuters

Cryptocurrency donations like Bitcoin And the raised Streaming into Ukraine as the war with Russia enters its second week.

Since the invasion of Moscow on February 24, more than 102,000 donations of crypto assets, totaling $54.7 million, have gone to the Ukrainian government and Come Back Alive, a nongovernmental organization that provides support to the military, according to new data from blockchain analytics firm Elliptic. The increase includes a single donation of $5.8 million from Gavin Wood, founder of a lesser known cryptocurrency called polkadot.

Donations are up this week, with about 72,000 of those donations arriving in the past two days. To date, the contributions consist of $18.2 million in ether, $17.2 million in bitcoin and $9.5 million in a mix of stablecoins pegged to the US dollar, including an anonymous donation of $1 million in the form of a tether, a controversial token designed to be linked. In US dollars.

Accepting cryptocurrency donations is new for the Ukrainian government. Until Saturday, all donations We had to travel through traditional payment channelsbut on February 26, the government decided to get creative.

The Ukrainian government’s Twitter accounts started doing this Solicit Crypto Asset Donations for the first time. This step came after the country The central bank has cracked down on digital money transfers With regard to declaring martial law nationwide.

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are becoming more and more popular as they allow users to bypass financial institutions that may block payments to Ukraine.

Elliptic says that the bitcoin, ethereum, tron, polkadot, dogecoin and solana addresses included in the tweets have received more than 96,000 cryptocurrency donations, with a total value of $46.7 million going directly to the government.

“Cryptocurrencies are particularly suitable for international fundraising because they do not respect national borders and are resistant to censorship – no central authority can block transactions, for example in response to sanctions,” said Elliptic chief scientist Tom Robinson.

Donations in non-fungible currencies, or NFTs, also rose.

One CryptoPunk NFT worth over $200,000 was sent to the Ukrainian government’s ethereum account, and Elliptic says one transaction worth $1.86 million appears to have come from the sale of NFTs that were originally intended to raise funds for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Meanwhile, UkraineDAO auction NFT of Ukrainian Flag for $6.5 million in ether, making it among the most expensive NFTs ever sold. Elliptic says the proceeds will be donated to Come Back Alive.

But even as cryptocurrencies open up new avenues of money for a country fighting a major attack, the numbers pale in comparison to the money flowing into the country from international allies like the United States.

In addition to $350 million approved by the White House in military aid For Ukraine, the Biden administration He asks Congress for $10 billion In immediate emergency aid to bolster the humanitarian supplies, security forces, and economies of Ukraine and its partners in Central Europe. Meanwhile, the US Agency for International Development Pledge another $54 million in humanitarian aid to Kyiv.