There are some subjects that you wish you never had to cover as a journalist. Those that involve war are one of them. However, the revolution that is cryptocurrencies can bring a touch of hope. In a spontaneous act of solidarity, crypto enthusiasts around the world are currently trying to help the Ukrainian people through difficult times.
How can cryptos help Ukraine?
You don’t fight Russian army tanks with NFTs, that’s a fact. However, the war is having a major impact on fiat currencies. The Ukrainian Hryvnia has fallen considerably since the beginning of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. In fact, it has reached a new all-time low. Also, since Wednesday 23 February, the National Bank of Ukraine has started to restrict liquidity. Withdrawals of Hryvnia are limited to 10,000 UAH (about $300) per day. In addition, cross-border purchases and withdrawals in foreign currency are, meanwhile, banned altogether.
Crypto-currencies, by their very nature decentralized, are a kind of safe haven in such cases. If they are not the solution to bring peace in the world, they bring quite a lot in terms of finance. Especially in the face of catastrophes like war! Come Back Alive, which takes a close interest in the current geopolitical situation, knows something about this. This non-governmental organization received $3 million in Bitcoin (BTC) in a single donation on Friday. The donations this NGO is currently receiving are dedicated to supporting Ukraine’s military efforts.
Cryptocurrency users have also turned to social networks. Indeed, they asked the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense to accept donations in cryptocurrencies. A few hours later, the donations already totaled more than $4 million. At the same time, the founder of the Ukrainian stock exchange Kuna created a crypto fund to help charities in the country.
The NFT community supports the Ukrainian people
On Friday, February 25, support from the cryptosphere gained momentum. Non-fungible token (NFT) artist pan_danil started a campaign to organize donations. The campaign aims to launch NFT auctions and offer a percentage of sales to NFT artists in Ukraine.
The NFT platform Orica is also among the supporters. Orica had launched an NFT campaign to help build a school in Uganda last year. The marketplace, which also coordinated an NFT charity drive to help victims of human trafficking, has indeed expressed its support for Ukrainian NFT artists on Twitter. It also seems that the platform will directly integrate Ukrainian NFT artists for upcoming exhibitions.
Meanwhile, other Ukrainian artists such as voplividchau, reported that their NFTs were selling out thanks to the support of the community. Despite the success of the sale, she writes:
“It’s very scary in Kiev now; it was scary at night, and what’s going to happen next is so scary… I admire the courage of people here.”
At the time of this writing, a group of volunteers had also formed to put together a community list of Ukrainian NFT artists. This list collects links to their work on NFT platforms such as Rarible, Foundation and OpenSea.
Like Sam Bankman-Fried, the head of the FTX exchange, the crypto community is standing in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and donations are pouring in. So Bitcoin and crypto-currencies are not just assets with attractive volatility for traders. Above all, it is an investment that those who own it have control over. And in times of war, controlling one’s money is not insignificant. Ukraine understood this even before the armed conflict with Russia. The country has effectively given legal status to Bitcoin and other digital assets since February 17, 2022.