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Why the >5M in Bitcoin, Ether, USDT donations for Ukraine matters

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Source: Unsplash

As civilians in Ukraine take up arms and build Molotov cocktails, crypto-donations are streaming in from supporters all over the world to help military and relief efforts. With the struggle becoming both physical and cyber, it’s time to take a look at the action on the blockchain.

Friends in need. . .

Ukraine’s official Twitter account – previously known for scenic photos of the country and historical trivia – recently shared addresses to accept Bitcoin, Ether, and USDT donations. As one of the top five countries on the 2021 Chainalysis Global Crypto Adoption Index, this wasn’t a surprise.

However, the response has been both complex and overwhelming.

When looking at the Bitcoin blockchain data for the linked address, we can see that more than 33 BTC or about $1.3 million has been sent to the address. Meanwhile, the address has sent seven BTC.

Additionally, Etherscan shows that the second address has received around 1,636 Ether or roughly $4.4 million in donations.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that these are not the only organizations and sources soliciting donations.

Furthermore, others like Tron founder Justin Sun have also sent funds. For his part, Sun donated $200,000 USDT on the Tron blockchain.

Source: Etherscan

In fact, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin also promoted UkraineDAO – a project to “sell” the country’s now famous blue-and-yellow flag in order to raise funds for civilian efforts.

Crypto-donations are more than a publicity stunt in the Russia-Ukraine war. After the National Bank of Ukraine’s suspension of e-money transfers, some have claimed they have no choice but to turn to crypto.

A gassy endeavour?

One thing to question here is the popularity of Ethereum as a means of fundraising – despite its sky-high gas fees. Both ConstitutionDAO and AssangeDAO faced challenges due to the same while collecting donations. It remains to be seen how UkraineDAO will minimize the loss of funds through gas fees.

Meanwhile, an NFT collection on OpenSea aimed at raising funds for Ukraine may have led to gas fees rising to over 1,300 gwei on Ethereum. While praised for raising money, the group – RELI3F UKR – was also criticized for the high profits miners received in the process.

Later on 26 February, however, the gas fee dropped back to 55.69 Gwei.

Life hack: don’t get hacked

Vitalik Buterin initially shared his doubts regarding the crypto-addresses posted on Ukraine’s official Twitter account. In fact, many were worried that the account may have been hacked by Russian cybercriminals or that incorrect addresses had been given.

However, Buterin soon claimed that some Ukrainian sources had assured him that the addresses were legitimate.

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Sahana is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. She has a Masters in Journalism and her areas of study include crypto-regulation, digital society, privacy, and intersectionality. Ask her about film photography and philately.

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