Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Ukraine has collected $70 million in crypto donations since the beginning of the conflict in Russia


Ukraine has received more than $70 million in cryptocurrency since the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, providing the country with military equipment and humanitarian aid.

The numbers came from February 3. A report 24 released by blockchain data platform Chainalysis, which found that the majority of funds came in the form of Ether (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC).

ETH donors led the way with $28.9 million in grants, while BTC and Tether (USDT) donors split $22.8 million and $11.59 million, respectively.

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Cryptocurrencies donated to wallets of Ukraine provided by the Ukrainian government. source: decomposition.

Donations also came in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), such as UkraineDAO’s Ukrainian flag NFT auction that sold for $6.1 million.

About 80% of the total $70 million donated came in the first few months of the war, with the speed of cryptocurrency payments fast tracking the country’s ability to respond to the Russian invasion, explained Ukraine’s Deputy Digital Minister Alex Bornyakov in an interview with Yahoo. Finance UK in February. 24:

“If we use the traditional financial system it would take days […] We were able to secure the purchase of vitals in no time at all via crypto, and what is amazing is that about 60% of the suppliers were able to accept cryptocurrency, I wasn’t expecting that.”

Borniakov added that the Crypto Fund Aid for Ukraine program was an “absolute success” and that he was amazed not only by the amount of donations obtained but also by the ease with which the Digital Ministry could access these funds to start their advocacy.

As Alona Shevchenko, co-founder of Ukraine DAO explained to Yahoo Finance, cryptocurrencies provided a solution when restrictions were imposed on the Ukrainian central banking system:

The Central Bank imposed restrictions on foreign currency transfers in and out of Ukraine to stem the run for the hryvnia […] Thanks to cryptocurrency, we were able to cover some of the immediate needs of our advocates, and there was literally no other way at the time.”

According to a tweet from Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation in August last year, a lot of cryptocurrency payments to Ukraine’s Digital Ministry were used to fund the country’s military equipment, armored clothing and a range of vehicles and medicines.

Increased adoption of cryptocurrencies in Ukraine appears to be driving adoption in the country, as a September report by Chainanalysis found that Ukrainians are the third largest number of users after Vietnam and the Philippines.

Related: What the Russian-Ukrainian war revealed about cryptocurrency

However, pro-Russian military groups have also used cryptocurrency to crowdfund their war efforts, including using crypto donations to fund military purchases, spread disinformation and create pro-invasion propaganda, according to Chainalysis.

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The total value that Russian military groups have received since February 3rd. 2021 Source: decomposition.

The 100 groups collectively donated $5.4 million over the course of the war, however, donations received have dropped dramatically since July.

It is not clear what effect the sanctions will have on this downward trend, but the tenth package of sanctions against Russia was introduced on February 1st. 24.

Meanwhile, a recent crime report from Chainalysis found that of the total $456.8 million in ransomware payments in 2022, the majority of that money was taken by “actors” believed to be based in Russia.

Such attacks are often used by bad actors for political purposes, Chenalesis explained, such as the Russia-based pro-conflict ransomware group, which took $66 million from victims in 2022 and previously declared its “full support” for Russia. Government.