Ukraine’s central bank and allied NGOs have raised around $20 million in the form of crypto donations, to aid its effort against the Russian invasion, according to the blockchain analysis firm Elliptic. Ukraine has been receiving support from across the globe in its fight against Russia.
Cryptocurrency has become a popular tool for crowdfunding as it allows for quick, anonymous, cross-border payments which aren’t dependent on financial institutions that might block payments to these groups.
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According to a New York Times report, Ukraine does not have a monopoly on this strategy. Russia could well use the decentralised nature of cryptocurrency to bypass economic sanctions, or at least mitigate its effects to a degree.
The Ukrainian government and NGOs providing support to the military has raised $22.2 million through more than 23,000 crypto asset donations since the beginning of the Russian invasion, reported blockchain research firm Elliptic. The majority of donations have been in Bitcoin and Ether, although US dollar stablecoins like tether also contribute a significant proportion.
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Come Back Alive, a Ukrainian NGO which supports the military has received several million dollars in crypto donations, according to Elliptic research. On February 24, Patreon, a membership platform had announced to suspend Come Back Alive’s page due to policy violations as a result of its military activity.
This comes after the Ukrainian government shared two cryptocurrency wallet addresses on its official Twitter account, through which it would directly accept donations of Bitcoin, Ethereum or Tether. The listed addresses in the tweets have received $14.8 million through 18,561 transactions.
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On Sunday, Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov urged major crypto exchanges to block payments to Russian users. “I’m asking all major crypto exchanges to block addresses of Russian users. It’s crucial to freeze not only the addresses linked to Russian and Belarusian politicians but also to sabotage ordinary users,” he wrote.
Earlier, he announced that a “generous award” would be given for any information about crypto-wallets of Russian and Belarusian politicians.
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Ukraine has received support from several crypto exchanges. For instance, Binance announce that it was donating $10 million, while Bankman-Fried, chief executive officer of FTX US, said his company transferred out $25 to each Ukrainian on their platform.