Nearly $10 million raised so far in cryptocurrencies
Ukraine was ranked fourth worldwide for the adoption of cryptocurrencies in 2021, with an estimated 5.5 million people holding cryptocurrency, that’s almost 13% of the population. Now, support is coming in the other direction as the Ukraine government’s call for donations to withstand the Russian invasion and provide aid are fully embraced by the crypto community. Nearly $10 million has been raised in various cryptocurrencies so far.
Notably, countless dishonest organizations and potentially fraudulent wallet addresses are floating around the internet claiming to be taking donations. It is advised to follow official channels and stay vigilant.
Donations are being made directly to the Ukrainian government, various independent news, media sources, and several humanitarian aid organizations. Moreover, while some have had to stop taking contributions via channels such as Patreon, crypto has provided a lifeline. Additionally, individual blockchain community members show their support, build DAOs, sell NFTs, and donate personal wealth to support the cause.
According to on-chain data, $5.2 million has been received in the Ethereum wallet with the address – 0x165CD37b4C644C2921454429E7F9358d18A45e14 given by the official Ukrainian government Twitter – including $1.1 million in USDT and $109,000 in USDC, two stablecoins pegged to the US dollar.
On-chain data also reveals that FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried donated $250,000 in USDT and Chain.com CEO Deepak Thapliyal donated 100 ETH or approximately $277,000 at writing. On top of contributions in ERC-20 tokens Ukraine’s Bitcoin wallet has received $4.2 million.
Gavin Wood, the founder of Polkadot, commented on a Tweet that if a DOT address were made available, he would commit $5 million. We haven’t seen something yet, but Gavin Wood appears to have teamed up with Ukrainian-based Subsocial on an initiative on Polkadot.
Additionally, the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, Mykhailo Fedorov, shared three crypto wallet addresses. While the BTC and ETH addresses are the same as the ones above. Fedorov’s USDT wallet address is a wallet on the Tron blockchain and different from the address shared by Ukraine’s official Twitter handle.
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin initially doubted that the accounts requesting crypto donations were legitimate, suggesting they may have been hacked. However, American diplomat Tomicah Tillemann later confirmed its legitimacy from Ukrainian Ambassador Olexander Scherba.
Binance pledges $10 Million
Binance, one of the world’s largest centralized crypto exchanges, announced that it donated $10 million to aid the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, further announcing the launch of the Ukraine Emergency Fund to provide emergency relief through crypto crowdfunding.
NFT Community Rallies
Members of the NFT community rallied to offer support to Ukraine predominantly through charitable sales and donations. Rarible put out a cry for its community to highlight artwork by Ukrainian artists and support them through purchases, also promising that the Rarible team would buy some.
Lead designer at The Sandbox Alex Flores put an NFT item for sale at 6 ETH with zero royalties, stating that 100% of the sale funds would be donated to charities helping in Ukraine. However, at the time of writing, no offers have been received for the item.
NFT artist and influencer Pak stepped up as well, donating an entire treasury of NFT items with a total value of 670 ETH, or around $1.8 million.
UkraineDAO joins the Ukrainian government in asking for donations with the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) assembled to raise money for Ukrainian soldiers. The fundraising effort coordinated by members of the investment group PleasrDAO, the NFT studio Trippy Labs, and the Russian art collective Pussy Riot has already raised over $3 million in ERC-20 tokens at writing.
The project is taking inspiration from other politically-minded DAOs, like AssangeDAO and ConstitutionDAO, which tried, and unfortunately failed, to purchase an original copy of the U.S. constitution at auction.
The DAO will sell NFTs of images of the Ukrainian flag priced at 0.08 ETH as a tribute to Ukraine’s Declaration of Independence in 1991, with all proceeds going to nonprofit organizations in Ukraine. The DAO will donate crypto to Come Back Alive, a charitable organization that fundraises for Ukraine’s military, and other philanthropic organizations, including the Red Cross.
Propaganda plays a role in any conflict but perhaps none more so than when Russia is involved. One big part of the effort is to support media agencies trying to deliver the most accurate and unbiased news feed from the conflict. As Russia moved to silence all independent outlets within Russia, the West disabled the Kremlin’s megaphone, Russia Today, across Europe. One news outlet collecting donations to continue reporting on events happening live in Ukraine is the Kyiv Independent.
At the same time, the Kremlin’s website and Russian TV channels were hacked to play Ukrainian songs following a string of reported cyberattacks by hacker group Anonymous as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continued. Arguably, a strong ally to have in today’s hybrid war scenario.
The world rallies
While the crypto and blockchain community have rallied immensely behind Ukraine in the last few days, other nations and organizations are showing support in their ways. Lithuania, a country that shares a border with the pro-Russian state of Belarus, has organized mass charitable donations of clothing, food, and other goods to aid refugees and those trying to escape the violence. Contributions were so plentiful the Red Cross had to stop accepting them as they had no more room on their trucks. Meanwhile, challenger bank Revolut, which has an HQ and staff in Lithuania, will facilitate charitable giving to the Red Cross and waive all fees for sending money to Ukraine through its mobile banking app.
Perhaps more interesting is that while the news, both crypto, and mainstream, are awash with donations flooding in via cryptocurrencies, reports of traditional organizations lending a hand are sparse. Arguably global organizations with identifiable leaders look to abstain from any political statements or bold moves that could align them with either side—once more showing the frailties of centralized, top-down controlled entities during times of conflict.
Cryptocurrency is proving to be an effective weapon against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine so far. Alongside the activity above, Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov has also called for tip-offs on crypto wallet addresses belonging to Russian politicians. The tip-off initiative has received 500 tips at writing. It expects to announce a list of politicians’ addresses in the next few days. They will then share with leading global exchanges to be marked as toxic, ultimately trying to blacklist them from leading exchanges.
The above does not constitute investment advice. The information given here is purely for informational purposes only. Please exercise due diligence and do your research. The writer holds ETH, BTC, AGIX, HEX, LINK, GRT, CRO, OMI, IMMUTABLE X, GALA, AVASTR, GMEE, CUBE, RADAR, FLOW, FTM, BNB, SPS, WRLD, ATOM, and ADA.