War-torn Ukraine is Turning to Crypto

Binance partners with one of Ukraine’s largest pharmaceutical companies making it possible to purchase goods with cryptocurrencies

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Source: Shutterstock / Sergey Muhlynin modified by Blockworks

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Binance has partnered with one of Ukraine’s largest pharmaceutical companies, ANC, to enable digital asset payments for pharmacy products amid the ongoing war.

Contactless cryptocurrency payment services will be made available to Ukrainian citizens purchasing goods at ANC through Binance Pay. 

“From January 3, you will be able to enjoy instant payments when purchasing pharmacy products,” the company wrote in an announcement.  

ANC has over 1,000 stores across the country, in cities including Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia, Kyiv, Kremenchuk, Kryvyi Rih, Lviv, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Poltava, Kharkiv, and Cherkasy. However, Binance Pay services will only be available for residents in the capital city, Kyiv, the company said.

Binance’s involvement in Ukraine

This will not be the first time that the largest centralized exchange has made moves in the country since the Russian invasion in February last year. 

The centralized exchange recently partnered with Ukrainian supermarket chain VARUS to launch cryptocurrency payments in nine cities in the country. 

It also launched a cryptocurrency card for Ukrainian refugees earlier in April. These cards are designed to allow displaced citizens to send and receive cryptocurrencies, and also “complete purchases at retailers in the EEA who accept card payments,” Binance said

All Ukrainian citizens living in the European Economic Area with a valid passport and a Binance account were eligible for the program, and refugees verified by local non-profit organizations received 75 BUSD per month for up to three months. 

Using cryptocurrencies for aid

Ukraine has emerged as a crypto friendly nation, legalizing the status of cryptoassets in March 2022.

In an earlier interview with Blockworks, Denelle Dixon, the chief executive officer of the Stellar Development Foundation, said that her organization had been working with the Ukrainian government prior to the invasion, and said that the nation was extremely crypto-savvy in comparison to others. 

The Ukrainian government has also made public pleas for cryptocurrency donations on official social media accounts, and received assets worth up to $54 million in forms of bitcoin, ether, USDT, solana and polkadot — just to name a few. 

These funds have largely been spent on military equipment, including armor, medicine and transportation vehicles, Mykhailo Fedorov, the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine tweeted.

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Ukraine’s speedy adoption of cryptocurrency has previously been noted by Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who said in September 2022, at Ukraine’s Kyiv Tech Summit, that “Ukraine may well become the next Web3 hub.”

“A country can become a Web3 hub if its citizens are actively interested in this technology and decide to make a major contribution to its development. Ukraine has both the capabilities and the determination to do this,” Buterin said.


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