Bitcoin donations to the Ukrainian NGOs are soaring after Moscow launched a large-scale offensive against Ukraine early Thursday
Putin and pals seem to be warming up to crypto. Russia’s government and the central bank have now reportedly reached an agreement on how to regulate cryptocurrencies. According to an announcement, and as first reported by the Russian daily newspaper Kommersant, the two organizations are in the process of drafting new crypto legislation, set to be finalized this month. The new laws will define crypto as an “analog of currencies” rather than digital financial assets.
Bitcoin donations to the Ukrainian army are soaring after Moscow launched a large-scale offensive against Ukraine early Thursday.
Cryptocurrency fundraising is becoming an increasingly prominent part of modern conflicts around the world. Scammers appear to be also taking advantage of the current situation in Ukraine, though, by tricking unsuspecting users. It is said at least one social media post was found to copy a legitimate tweet from an NGO, but with the author swapping the Bitcoin address, presumably for one of their own.
New data from blockchain analytics firm Elliptic shows that over a 12-hour window Thursday, nearly US$400,000 in bitcoin was donated to Come Back Alive, a Ukrainian nongovernmental organization providing support to the armed forces.
Another group, the Ukrainian Cyber Alliance, says it raises cash completely in cryptocurrency. Over the previous year, the group has obtained nearly US$100,000 in bitcoin, litecoin, ether, and a mixture of stablecoins. Since 2016, Alliance activists have engaged in cyberattacks in opposition to Russian targets, says Elliptic.
The average amount donated is around US$1,000 to US$2,000, and the group has received at least 317 individual donations in the past two days, reports Fortune. Pro-Ukraine groups and pro-crypto communities on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook have also contributed.
Ukrainian NGOs have seen a surge in donations since Russian president Vladimir Putin announced an attack on Ukraine on February 24. The country’s government has also asked for cash donations to support its defense forces, directing givers to a special account set up by the Ukrainian national bank.
Over 4,000 donations have been received so far, according to a BBC report. It added that one unknown donor had gifted Bitcoins worth $3 million to an NGO. So far, the average (median) donation to the war effort has been $95.
On Saturday, the Ukrainian government announced that it’s accepting cryptocurrency donations. It wrote on Twitter, “Stand with the people of Ukraine. Now accepting cryptocurrency donations. Bitcoin, Ethereum, and USDT.” Ukraine’s government also posted the addresses of two of its cryptocurrency wallets on Twitter.
54.8% of the donations received by the Ukrainian government and NGOs, as per Elliptic, were in Bitcoin while 33.4% were Ethereum, 10.85% stablecoins, and 1% other. Separately, an Ethereum-based token project called Help Ukraine ($HUKR) was created on Thursday. According to Elliptic, the project has been donating Ethereum to a fundraiser called Support Ukrainian Sovereignty, which in turn has pledged to donate funds among various Ukrainian charities such as Support Ukrainian Sovereignty claimed to have raised US$281,769.