More than 1,000,000 Russian troops are already located in the region of Kursk and Voronezh just 100 miles from Ukraine’s border. This is because of the imminent threat of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
To supplement the country’s military, logistical, and financial resources, volunteer groups from Ukraine are turning to crypto crowdfunding and bitcoin. Data comes Elliptic, which is a blockchain company that specializes in creating analytics tools for platforms such as Circle and Binance.
“Volunteer groups have attacked propaganda sites, the Russian Ministry of Defense and other individuals connected to Russia’s activities. According to the report, intelligence collected during these operations was reportedly shared with Ukrainian law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies.”
Tom Robinson, Elliptic’s chief scientist, stated that Cryptocurrency is being increasingly used to crowdfund war with the tacit approval from governments. It’s also a great choice for international fundraising, as it doesn’t recognize national borders and is censorship-resistant. There is no central authority that can stop transactions, such as in response to sanctions.
Numerous Ukranian non-governmental organizations and volunteer organisations have received donations in excess of $20,000. The report stated that funds worth $5,70,000 have been received by several cryptocurrency wallets belonging to these NGOs and volunteer organizations over the past year.
Come Back Alive is one of the many groups that received donations in Bitcoin. It provides essential equipment, training services and medical supplies to the Ukrainian military. The group received almost $2,00,000. This was especially true in the second half of 2021 when the bitcoin influx spiked to the peak.
The Ukrainian Cyber Alliance is another addition to this list. It reportedly raises funds entirely through cryptocurrency. The Elliptic report indicates that the Alliance activists are actively engaged in cyberattacks against Russian targets. However, the group received nearly $1,00,000. This was primarily made up of bitcoin, litecoin and ether.
Kyiv-based NGO Myrotvotrets Center has been accepting crypto donations from more than 40 countries since 2016. It has raised approximately $2,67,000 through over 100 bitcoin donations.
This firm has close ties to the Ukrainian government and is currently developing a facial recognition app that could easily identify “militants Russian mercenaries and war criminals”. Its modus operandi includes publishing information about “enemies in Ukraine”.
Traditional methods of payment still make up a significant portion of bitcoin donations. However, crypto is becoming a more profitable option because it bypasses traditional financial institutions that might not allow payments to Ukraine. It is also easier to track and monitor.
Pro-Russian separatists aren’t the only ones to turn to bitcoin fundraising. This phenomenon has been going on since 2014, when the Russo–Ukrainian conflict began. This is why Ukraine’s openness to cryptocurrency adoption speaks well for the current situation. According to Kyiv Post the country intends to open cryptocurrency markets to investors and businesses in 2022.
In August 2021, the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke out about the budding “legal innovation market for virtual assets” in Ukraine. Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Federorov added that the country was modernizing their payment markets by Zelenskyy signing an act that allowed its central bank to issue its digital currency.