Bitcoin donations are increasing as the Russia-Ukraine war proceeds
Bitcoin donations to the Ukrainian army have soared since Moscow launched a large-scale operation against Ukraine.
Almost $400,000 in bitcoin was donated to Come Back Alive amidst the Russia-Ukraine war. A Ukrainian non-governmental organization that supports the armed troops, according to new numbers from blockchain analytics firm Elliptic.
According to Elliptic, the current batch of crypto donations continues a pattern that has seen hundreds of thousands of dollars rushed into Ukrainian NGOs and volunteer groups seeking to ward off a Russian invasion in recent weeks. Activists have used the cryptocurrency to assist the development of a facial recognition program to assess whether someone is a Russian mercenary or spy and donate military equipment, medical supplies, and drones to the Ukrainian army.
Cryptocurrency is unrestricted by censorship during the Russia-Ukraine war
Traditionally, volunteer organizations have bolstered the military’s operations in Ukraine by supplying additional resources and personnel. After pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown in 2014, volunteers came up to help demonstrators. Typically, private donors provide money to these organizations via bank wires or mobile payment apps. Cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, have increased in popularity to circumvent financial institutions that may block transactions to Ukraine.
According to Elliptic, volunteer groups and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have raised over $1 million in cryptocurrencies. Still, the number is rapidly climbing as donations flood in despite Russia’s newly launched onslaught. Since 2018, Come Back Alive has accepted cryptocurrency as payment for military equipment, training services, and medical supplies.
The Ukrainian Cyber Alliance has received around $100,000 in bitcoin, litecoin, ether, and various stablecoins over the last year. According to Elliptic, since 2016, Alliance activists have been executing cyberattacks against Russian targets.
On the other hand, Pro-Russian separatists have been raising funds with bitcoin since the crisis began.
According to Boaz Sobrado, a London-based fintech data researcher, some Russian authorities refused to close opposition bank accounts for fear of “driving them towards crypto fundraising, which is a lot harder to manage.”
Sobrado claims that crypto funding for unpopular causes has a long history, citing Wikileaks and Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny as examples.
The Ukrainian parliament and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy have agreed to legalize and regulate bitcoin. The bill goes a long way toward removing cryptocurrencies from its present legal limbo, while it lags behind El Salvador’s law, which made bitcoin legal tender in September. This will aid in the financial crisis during the Russia-Ukraine war.