How crypto saves lives of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians in war
Since the Russian invasion, cryptocurrencies have become one of the major and most effective financing channels for Ukraine’s humanitarian and military needs: medicine and clothing, food and water, shelter for refugees and many other necessities. All that needs to be purchased and delivered to Ukrainian cities and it is a priority number one, also complicated by the nearly paralyzed operation of the foreign exchange market.
According to Slowmist analysts, Ukraine has received more close to $100 million in crypto-assets donations as of today.
Various digital-asset based fund-raising initiatives to help Ukraine are launched by the government, private companies, charitable and public organizations, celebrities and just people who care about Ukraine. See the list of verified addresses by analysts.
The Ukrainian bitcoin community has been actively involved in fundraising and helping both the army and citizens since the first days. Here’s how exactly Ukraine get funded to save lives of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians.
- Besides providing infrastructure for Ukraine’s crypto-fund, the Kuna exchange has its own fund focused on local humanitarian needs (food, medicine, fuel, evacuation assistance for Mariupol, Chernigov, Sumy, or Kyiv’s Teroborona).
- WhitePay platform, owned by WhiteBit exchange, launched a special form to accept cryptocurrencies. WhitePay can now be used to donate to the Armed Forces, Teroborona, the Ministry of Healthcare, and aid to combat-affected population.
- Any crypto supported by WhiteBit can be donated through WhitePay. The platform raised about $2.3 million for humanitarian and military needs. All funds have already been distributed. Also, WhiteBIT joined with the Ukrainian portal of public services ‘Dia’.
- Binance donated $10 million toward solving the humanitarian crisis, and its Binance Charity initiative donated $2.5 million in cryptocurrencies to support UNICEF’s work to save lives of children in Ukraine.
- Uniswap dex introduced an interface to convert ERC-20 tokens into Ethereum and send funds to the address of the Ukrainian crypto-fund.
- U.S. bitcoin exchange Kraken distributed more than $10 million to Ukrainian users as aid in the wake of the Russian invasion.
- Unchain Ukraine — fundraising campaign launched by activists from the first days of war. Funds are stored on a multisig wallet. Anyone can individually apply for the fund’s assistance, including organizations and government agencies. Often personal requests for small payouts can be satisfied immediately, while large sums from organizations are investigated further. Unchain Ukraine raised more than $7.2 million in donations, $2.4 million allocated.
- The Palianytsia Foundation works to help refugees and war-affected Ukrainians. Among its founders are several representatives of the cryptocurrency community. Two warehouses in Poland, up to 30 trucks daily, reloaded and sent all over Ukraine on request. It is the artery that feeds medicine, food, and other necessities to the entire country. The fund provides shelter for refugees, supplies everything they need, and offers psychological and legal assistance.
- Polkadot founder Gavin Wood donated more than $5.7 million in DOT, Solana enthusiasts donated $1 million, and Slush Pool, the oldest bitcoin mining pool, sent 10 BTC to the ‘Come Back Alive’ fund. According to Slowmist, Come Back Alive has raised more than $19 million in bitcoin, Ethereum and TRON.
Almost immediately after the start of war, the country’s Ministry of Digital Transformation turned to the Kuna exchange for help in creating cryptocurrency wallets — this was the start of the Ukrainian cryptofund. Later, FTX and Everstake joined the initiative, making the Aid for Ukraine website a collection of Ukrainian wallet addresses, supporting Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, Dogecoin, Monero and other coins. Every few hours, all collected funds are transferred to cold wallets. They are multi-sig-protected and controlled by a trusted group of people*.*
The donations are distributed to the Ukrainian army and humanitarian aid to war victims. Upon request, crypto-assets are either converted into fiat (hryvnia, dollars or euros) or used directly as a means of payment, subject to the law of the providers.
The Ministry of Digital Transformation handles all distribution of funds according to the needs of the Ministry of Defense or the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine.
All vendors who accepted cryptocurrency payments were foreign based. About a fifth of the funds was used for crypto payments, with over $60 million equivalent deposited into wallets of Ministry of Digital Transformation. Some of this money was used to provide shelter, food and medical supplies, and aid to occupied towns, going over $6.4 million in total humanitarian expenditures.
NFT in the midst of war
Increasingly popular non-exchangeable token technology has also become a means of helping Ukraine. Many NFT-initiatives have been launched, from the government to private initiatives, including:
- NFT-museum of the War of the Russian Federation against Ukraine from the Ministry of Digital Economy
- Ukraine’s Angels collection from ElephantsLab, a developer of blockchain solutions;
- Ukraine DAO initiative;
- StandWithUkraine collection from 4IRE blockchain company;
- NFT by the Pereomoga 17 public organization;
- initiative from Cardano enthusiasts and many others.
- an unknown individual donated a more than $200,000 NFT from the CryptoPunks collection to Ukrainian CryptoFund
- Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT-project team announced that it donated more than $1 million to Ukraine in Ethereum
Cryptocurrencies of life-saving value
The National Bank of Ukraine has suspended the currency market since the beginning of the war. This made cryptocurrencies become one of the main tools to buy goods abroad and support war-affected residents of the country. For example, Palianytsia fund helped buy 23 ambulances and three medical jeeps through a British partner who accepted cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies are used where it’ s critical and hot and can’t be solved using fiat.
This situation is contributing to the mass adoption of crypto not only in Ukraine but also around the world, as crypto currencies are now one of the few ways to help the country, proving in many ways more effective than the traditional financial system.