The Ukrainian government had issued a call for donations at the beginning of the Russian invasion. And the community responded, sending over $50 million in cryptocurrencies. How did Ukraine spend this amount?
Ukraine spends the cryptocurrencies received since the beginning of the conflict
It was Alex Bornyakov, the Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation, who detailed on Twitter how the cryptocurrency donations were used by Ukraine. He estimates in passing that the amount received will double this week.
As of March 3, Ukraine has received $53 million in cryptocurrencies, which it has used as follows:
- 69% (more than $36 million) in support of the army
- 19% (over $10 million) for humanitarian aid
- 12% (over $6 million) for general aid
Unsurprisingly, the “military” category is reaping the most cryptocurrency, as Ukrainians are defending themselves against the Russian ground and air invasion.
Equipment suppliers that accept cryptocurrencies
When Ukraine had started asking for donations in cryptocurrencies, some worried about its ability to “cash out,” and turn these digital currencies into fiat. Or simply pay merchants and services directly with them.
But it would appear that these concerns were unfounded. According to Alex Bornyakov, 40% of suppliers accept payments from Ukraine directly in cryptocurrencies. For the rest, crypto assets are converted into euros and dollars.
The Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation also confirmed that most cryptocurrency donations come from individuals who want to support Ukraine, rather than from companies. For weaponry, cryptocurrencies have been used with equipment suppliers to buy protection, bandages, night vision equipment, etc.
Cryptos, apolitical payment tools
Some people are concerned that Ukraine is taking over cryptocurrencies, fearing that the ecosystem will be used politically. However, Bitcoin (BTC) and its relatives are by nature apolitical – it is precisely this aspect that allows value exchanges even within a country at war.
Just as dollars or euros can be sent to causes dear to their holders, so crypto-currencies are just a tool. Except that unlike a ruble for example, it can not be blocked at the banks …