Donations of Cryptoassets to Ukraine Reach $19M

Data analytics firm Elliptic has been tracking crypto donations pouring into the Ukrainian government’s digital wallet addresses

article-image

An armored personnel carrier in Ukraine | Source: Shutterstock

share

key takeaways

  • One NGO is reported to have received a single donation worth $3 million in bitcoin
  • Russia is also reportedly using crypto to bypass West-imposed sanctions

Cryptocurrency donations to the government of Ukraine have reached almost $19 million as the country continues to resist an invasion from a much larger Russian state, according to blockchain data analytics firm Elliptic.

Ukraine’s government and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) providing military assistance have raised as much as $18.9 million, the firm reported in an updated blog post on Sunday.

Thousands of crypto donations began pouring into Ukrainian coffers amid the onset of the Russian invasion, which sparked a humanitarian crisis and drew condemnation from Western powers, including the US and the EU.

“Cryptoassets such as bitcoin have emerged as an important alternative crowdfunding method,” Elliptic said. “They allow quick, cross-border donations, which bypass financial institutions that might be blocking payments to these groups.”

Ironically, Washington is also reportedly considering crypto sanctions for fear Russia may use decentralized currencies to bypass sanctions imposed by Western nations, including the West’s move on Saturday to boot major Russian banks from the SWIFT interbank network.

“This isn’t actually the first time that crypto fundraising has been used in this conflict,” Elliptic co-founder Tom Robinson told Blockworks. “Russian fundraising campaigns have requested crypto donations to support separatists in the Donbas region, although they didn’t manage to raise much.”

Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s vice prime minister and minister of digital transformation, tweeted a request late Sunday urging major crypto exchanges to block addresses belonging to Russian users.

“It’s crucial to freeze not only the addresses linked to Russian and Belarusian politicians but also to sabotage ordinary users,” Fedorov said.

Blockworks attempted to contact Elliptic on that point but did not receive a reply by press time.

On Feb. 24, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Eastern Ukraine as part of a “military operation” that followed weeks of encirclement by Russian military personnel along Ukrainian borders.

Pleas for financial and military assistance from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appear to have been met, in part, by the crypto community seeking to shoulder some of the economic costs of Ukraine’s armed conflict.

On Saturday, Twitter accounts belonging to the Ukrainian government appealed to the national community for financial assistance in crypto donations.

“Stand with the people of Ukraine,” one official tweet reads. “Now accepting cryptocurrency donations. Bitcoin, Ethereum and USDT.”

Donations to the two addresses provided in the tweet have so far received $12.1 million across 15,947 transactions.

That figure included a single donation worth $1.86 million from NFT sales originally intended to raise funds for Australian activist Julian Assange, per the post.

A further $4.94 million in donations include those made to Ukrainian NGO Come Back Alive, as well as NFT (non-fungible token) donations such as Goat Soup #1189, valued at roughly $293, the firm said. Patreon has suspended Come Back Alive’s crowdfunding page on Thursday claiming the NGO had violated its policies by collecting funds for military activity.

One NGO is reported to have received a single donation worth $3 million in bitcoin, though the firm did not expressly state the recipient organization.


Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.

Tags

Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Top Icon.png

Research

Osmosis thrived in H2 2023 on the back of increased DeFi activity deriving from recently launched Cosmos-related projects and better market conditions. With new value accrual mechanisms for the native token, Osmosis is well-positioned to continue its strong performance in 2024.

/

article-image

Freedom Tool will enable citizens to organize anonymous elections in a trustless way

article-image

“There is plenty of space for more than one institutional crypto offering,” Kraken exec says

article-image

Individual cryptocurrencies may well jump in value during the next bull run, but the market overall has pumped less and less every time

article-image

After seeing record trading volumes Monday, IBIT trade volumes soar again as bitcoin price rally continues

article-image

Get over it. Of course Bitcoin will survive. The real question: Which miners will thrive?

article-image

Do Kwon may miss the start of the March 25 trial in the SEC’s case against the former executive and Terraform Labs