Crypto revolution - Ukraine amasses over US$100 million in crypto donations
As New Zealand commits $30 million in aid to Ukraine and our military personnel head to Europe to offer non-combat assistance, the embattled country is also drawing support from cryptocurrency owners.
According to tradingplatforms.com, which monitors activity across the world's major cryptocurrency trading platforms, Ukraine has received digital tokens totalling around US$100 million since the Russian invasion took place. The total doesn't include state-run NFT (non-fungible token) sales.
The majority of the donated cryptocurrency appears to be in the likes of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Polkadot, Dogecoin and Solana, well-established digital tokens with high turnover on trading platforms. But tens of millions more are likely to have been raised via NFT sales.
The crowdfunding organisation UkraineDAO apparently raised US$6.75 million through the sale of an NFT of the Ukrainian flag. The sale was to a collective of thousands of donors who banded together to make the donations, which would seem to fly in the face of the exclusive 'limited edition of one' nature of NFTs.
Tradingplatforms.com says that US$10.2 million in crypto assets were donated to Ukraine in a four day period early in the war following Russia's invasion on February 24, as the Ukraine Government published official addresses to contribute funds.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy legalized crypto trading in Ukraine, fast-tracking into law a bill on virtual assets. That was in response to the surge in donations to the Government crypto addresses.
The draft law was originally approved by Ukraine's legislature in September 2021, but Zelenskyy requested amendments. He had objected to the establishment of a dedicated regulatory body for digital assets which he said would be too expensive to maintain.
Ukraine has said it will use the donations for "non-lethal products, including food, fuel, and bulletproof vests for their military," according to Tradingplatforms.com.
But the crypto fundraising push has inevitably been plagued with a deluge of scams.
"The surge in global crypto attention stemming from Ukraine's recent crypto activity has also attracted a sizable number of malicious developers," writes Tradingplatforms.com's Edith Muthoni.
"Several humanitarian campaigns designed to raise donations for Ukraine turned out to be scams, with the people behind it making away with anything between hundreds and thousands of dollars, before being pulled down."
Still, the digital token donations to Ukraine represent the first state-sanctioned fundraising effort in response to military conflict and could set a precedent for making and receiving digital currency donations above and beyond the channels established by aid agencies.
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