Ukraine is utilizing bitcoin in crowdfunding campaigns to fight against the ongoing threat from Russia.
Ukraine Is Using BTC to Prepare for War
Ukraine is allegedly being stalked by its neighbor to the east. Russia currently has more than 100,000 troops amassed at the Ukrainian border. Needing funds to boost its military resources and keep up its strength in the face of adversity, Ukraine has turned to the world’s number one digital currency by market cap.
Thus far, donations in the hundreds of thousands have been given to the country. The funds are being used for several purposes including boosting military equipment, ensuring there are enough medical supplies, drone purchases, and funding a new facial recognition application that can determine whether someone is a Russian spy.
Tom Robinson – a chief scientist with blockchain firm Elliptic – explained in an interview:
Cryptocurrency is increasingly being used to crowdfund war, with the tacit approval of governments.
Russia has repeatedly stated that it’s not looking to mount any offensive effort towards Ukraine. Unfortunately, political leaders in both the United States and the United Kingdom have stated otherwise and have threatened Russian president Vladimir Putin with retaliation if he does anything they interpret as malicious towards the eastern European nation.
Robinson says that one of the big reasons crypto donations like these have become so popular in recent years is because they do not occur through third-party financial systems. Payments cannot be stopped or halted by banks, and money can instantly be moved to where it’s designed to be. He stated:
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.
Boaz Sobrado – a fintech data analyst in London – also threw his two cents into the mix, commenting:
The advantage of raising funds in crypto is that it’s a lot harder to confiscate them.
The Ukrainian Cyber Alliance says that it raises money only in crypto and has garnered more than $100,000 in bitcoin donations over the last year alone. It has also garnered other donations in Ethereum, Litecoin, and a variety of stable currencies. The organization works to engage in cyberattacks against Russian enemies.
Crypto Donations Are Growing in Popularity
According to a report issued by Elliptic:
Their operations have included attacks on propaganda sites, the Russian Ministry of Defense, and various individuals linked to Russia’s activities in Ukraine. Intelligence collected during these operations is reportedly shared with Ukrainian law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
Another organization known as NGO Myrotvotrets Center has been accepting crypto donations for the past six years. Stationed right in the heart of Ukraine’s capital city Kiev, the firm has garnered these donations from more than 40 separate countries, and regularly publishes data regarding “enemies of Ukraine.”