Since Russia's invasion, $4.1 million in bitcoin has been sent to the Ukrainian military

According to recent statistics from blockchain analytics company Elliptic, donations to the Ukrainian army in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are in the millions of dollars.

According to research, nonprofit organizations and volunteer groups in Ukraine have generated $4.1 million in cryptocurrency since the invasion started, including a single $3 million gift on Friday.

One NGO got almost $675,000 in bitcoin on Thursday alone, and by Friday morning, that figure had risen to more than $3.4 million owing to the one-time $3 million payment.

Volunteer organizations have played an important part in the Russia-Ukraine war for many years. These organizations have supplemented Ukraine's military efforts by providing extra resources and people. When Ukraine's pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, was deposed in 2014, armies of organized volunteers rushed to the demonstrators' aid.

Typically, these organizations receive funds from private donors via bank wires or payment apps, but cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin have emerged as an important alternative funding method, allowing for quick, cross-border donations that avoid financial institutions that may block payments to Ukraine.

"Cryptocurrency is especially suited to international fundraising because it does not respect national borders and is censorship-resistant — there is no central authority that can stop transactions, for example, in reaction to penalties," said Elliptic's chief scientist, Tom Robinson.

Activists have used the cryptocurrency for a number of objectives, including providing military weapons, medical supplies, and drones to the Ukrainian army, as well as supporting the creation of a face recognition tool that can tell whether someone is a Russian mercenary or spy.

"With the implicit sanction of governments, bitcoin is increasingly being used to crowdfund war," said Robinson of Elliptic, which offers blockchain analytics tools to banks and several of the world's major cryptocurrency platforms, including Binance and Circle.

Come Back Alive, a nonprofit that started taking cryptocurrencies in 2018, offers military equipment, training services, and medical supplies. It also supported the creation of a drone-based surveillance and targeting system for Ukrainian artillery battalions.

Other organizations assisting the Ukrainian opposition have requested contributions in crypto assets such as nonfungible tokens, or NFTs.
 
Cryptocurrency is increasingly being used to crowdfund war, with the tacit approval of governments.
Tom Robinson
Elliptic’s chief scientist
As Ukraine's central bank puts down on digital money transactions in response to the country's proclamation of martial rule — while Moscow unleashes airstrikes and ground forces — some Ukrainians are turning to cryptocurrencies.

According to Kuna, a major Ukrainian cryptocurrency exchange, local purchasers are paying a premium for Tether's USDT stablecoin, which is tethered to the value of the US dollar.

"We don't have faith in the government." We don't have faith in the financial system. In an interview with Coindesk, Michael Chobanian, the creator of Kuna, said, "We don't trust the local currency." "The vast majority of individuals have no other option than to invest in cryptocurrency."
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