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Ukraine receives upwards of $70M in crypto donations since start of Russian invasion

A total of $28.9 million in Ethereum, $22.8 million in Bitcoin, and $11.6 million in Tether have been contributed to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began a year ago.

Since the start of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, upwards of $70 million worth of cryptocurrencies has been sent to Ukraine. This has given the country much needed capital for military hardware and humanitarian aid.

Data from a report released on February 24 by blockchain data platform Chainalysis, discovered that the majority of the funds were in the form of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).

With $28.9 million donated, ETH donors took the lead. BTC and Tether (USDT) followed closely behind with $22.8 million and $11.6 million, respectively.

Cryptocurrency sent to Ukraine donation wallets, Feb 2022 – Feb 2023

Cryptocurrencies donated to Ukraine wallets provided by the Ukrainian government. Source: Chainalysis

Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs) are rapidly becoming another common form of donation. With one such NFT sold at auction by UkraineDAO for $6.1 million.

The speed of crypto payments accelerated the nation’s capacity to respond to the Russian invasion, with about 80% of the total $70 million donated coming in the first few months of the war.

In an interview with Yahoo Finance on February 24, Alex Bornyakov, the deputy minister of Ukraine’s digital economy, explained:

“Using the traditional financial system would have taken days. We were able to secure the purchase of essential items via crypto in no time at all. And what is amazing is that about 60% of suppliers were able to accept crypto, I didn’t expect this.”

Bornyakov continued, calling the Crypto Fund Aid For Ukraine an “absolute success” and expressing his amazement at both the volume of donations received and the ease with which the digital ministry was able to use them for Ukraine’s defense.

Mykhailo Fedorov, the vice prime minister of Ukraine and minister of digital transformation, claimed in an August tweet that the majority of cryptocurrency payments to the digital ministry were used to pay for the nation’s military gear, armor, various vehicles, and medical supplies.

According to a September report by Chainanalysis, Ukrainians are the third-highest adopters of cryptocurrencies, behind Vietnamese and Filipinos. This suggests that Ukraine’s increased reliance on cryptocurrencies has increased adoption in the nation.

Chainalysis claims that pro-Russian military organizations have also used cryptocurrency to crowdfund their war efforts, including using it to pay for military purchases, disseminate false information, and produce pro-invasion propaganda.

Total value received by Russian militia groups, Feb 2021 Feb 2023

Total value received by Russian military groups since February 2021. Source: Chainalysis
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