Bitcoin Donations for Ukraine Surge in as Border Tensions with Russia Escalate

The tense border standoff between Russia and Ukraine has seen a new phenomenon- More than half a million dollars has been donated in crypto to Ukraine. The crypto is being used by Ukrainian NGOs and volunteer groups for supplies. 

People are increasingly turning to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for fundraising and donations as they provide a faster, cheaper, and easier way to get the money where it is needed.

Thousands of dollars in digital currency donated to NGO’s

A February 8 report from blockchain analytics firm Elliptic reveals that hundreds of thousands of dollars in digital currency donations have been poured into Ukrainian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and volunteer groups.

The report further added that cryptocurrency funding to such an organization surged by almost 900% in 2021 compared to previous years. It also revealed the identities of several crypto wallets used by these volunteer groups and NGOs, collectively having received funds totaling more than $570,000. 

In addition, the report says that Banks and financial institutions often block funds to such organizations, and the cryptocurrency route is often used to bypass such sanctions.

The report stated, “Bitcoin has also emerged as an important alternative funding method, allowing international donors to bypass financial institutions that are blocking payments to these groups.”

The funds are used to equip the Ukrainian army with military equipment, medical supplies, and drones. A portion has also gone into developing a facial recognition app to identify enemy mercenaries or spies.

Tom Robinson, the chief scientist at Elliptic, commented: “Cryptocurrency is particularly suited to international fundraising because it doesn’t respect national boundaries and it’s censorship-resistant — there is no central authority that can block transactions, for example in response to sanctions,”

The report further states that Ukrainian NGOs and volunteer groups have close ties to the government. It adds to the trend of nation-states turning to cryptocurrency to raise funds.

Bitcoin and crypto crowdfunding

Cryptocurrencies have become the latest choice for crowdfunding movements and protests since centralized payments platforms often refuse to process payments, possibly due to state pressure. The current “Freedom Convoy Campaign” in Canada has also turned to cryptocurrency for funding its movement.

Russia to License Crypto Exchanges, Tax Large Transactions

The Russian government has agreed on the future regulation of cryptocurrencies. This time, the central bank is on board, too.

The Russian government has published a document setting out the principles for the regulation of cryptocurrencies. The document appeared on the official website on Tuesday night and has the central bank’s support, which had called for a ban on crypto mining and trading.

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