Ukraine crypto donations pour in after Russian invasion

Adding to crowdfunding efforts that have raised more than $5 million in Bitcoin, Ether and other tokens since Friday. 
Image: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg

Ukrainian officials are directly soliciting crypto donations, adding to crowdfunding efforts that have raised more than $5 million in Bitcoin, Ether and other tokens since Friday.

Ukraine’s official Twitter handle, as well an account belonging to the country’s Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, shared details of the crypto wallets on Saturday. Victor Zhora, one of Ukraine’s top cyberdefense officials, confirmed to Bloomberg that the tweets and the wallet addresses were accurate.

The addresses posted by these accounts have received hundreds of donations worth more than $3 million in less than 24 hours, according to transaction information available for the wallets and data from blockchain analytics firm Elliptic. The median donation was worth around $95, Elliptic co-founder Tom Robinson previously told Bloomberg News by email.

Bitcoin was trading at about $39 200 on Saturday, with Ether holding at around $2,800.

Crypto entrepreneur Justin Sun shared multiple posts in support of the fundraising effort, including encouraging Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin to “join hands to rally support for the Ukraine relief,” and saying that he would be “happy to match” if Buterin donated.

Buterin started amplifying the campaign by UkraineDAO, which said it would donate the proceeds to “Ukrainian civilians who help those suffering from the war initiated by Putin” and pointed to the website for The Return Alive Foundation.

“This is a monumental moment in the history of humanitarian donation on a global scale,” Sun told Bloomberg. “Every government, thought leaders, high-profile public figures, all the way to everyday Joes can make transparent donations,” he said.

Buterin, who was born in Russia and emigrated to Canada, had previously posted in support of Ukraine to his more than 3 million followers on Twitter. Buterin urged caution about the risk of hacked or compromised social media accounts, saying in a now-deleted tweet that anyone considering donating should “exercise extreme vigilance.” He subsequently posted that people should “continue to be vigilant, and always be slow and careful when sending irreversible crypto transactions.”

Several other crypto entrepreneurs and venture capialists have been using Twitter to rally and express support for Ukraine since Russia’s invasion started on Thursday. Sam Bankman-Fried, chief executive officer of FTX, previously said on Twitter the company was giving $25 to each Ukrainian with an account on the exchange.

Binance’s Changpeng “CZ” Zhao said, “This is where blockchain shines, global fundraising.”

Tomicah Tillemann, who left his position at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz to become the global policy chief for Katie Haun’s new crypto fund, said on his Twitter account that “defending free and open societies may be the best thing we ever do with our BTC and ETH.”

Wire transfers that are used to send money overseas can be expensive, slow and unreliable, which is why crypto donations are useful in this situation, Tillemann said in an email.

“Digital assets often provide the only way to send immediate, direct support to people in foreign conflict areas and humanitarian emergencies,” he said.

Celsius founder and CEO Alex Mashinsky said on Saturday he had sent a second donation in Ether to the Ukraine wallet, which as of Saturday afternoon held at least 126 of the tokens, or around $352 000 at current prices. He told Bloomberg that he had personally donated close to $10 000 in Ether.

Mashinsky said the Celsius network has 3 742 Ukrainian users and is giving each one of them $25 in Ether, matching the move by FTX. He also tweeted wallet addresses managed by Celsius that are collecting donations and sending them to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

“We’re not going to give it to anyone to buy arms,” he said.

Mashinsky said that crypto serves as a good backup for continuing commerce in Ukraine as the country’s financial system faces difficulties.

Non-fungible tokens are also being sold to raise funds for Ukraine. Reli3f, a humanitarian aid effort founded by web3 supporters, raised more than $1 million on Friday through an NFT collection that the group said sold out in 30 seconds.

© 2022 Bloomberg

COMMENTS   0

You must be signed in and an Insider Gold subscriber to comment.

SUBSCRIBE NOW SIGN IN

LATEST CURRENCIES  

USD / ZAR
GBP / ZAR
EUR / ZAR
BTC / USD

Podcasts

Instrument Details  

You do not have any portfolios, please create one here.
You do not have an alert portfolio, please create one here.
INSIDER SUBSCRIPTION APP VIDEOS RADIO / LISTEN LIVE SHOP OFFERS WEBINARS NEWSLETTERS TRENDING

Follow us:

Search Articles:
Click a Company: