“Bitcoin” for the occupier: how the cryptocurrency helps to collect donations for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Since February 24, cryptocurrencies have become a lifeline, allowing you to quickly and without unnecessary bureaucracy to raise substantial funds in support of the Armed Forces.
A significant part of the assistance that the world has provided to Ukraine since the beginning of the full—scale invasion has come to us in an unusual form – in cryptocurrency.
Digital assets have become one of the key ways to bypass the bureaucracy of financial systems and organizations and collect funds from around the world for the needs of Ukraine and Ukrainians quickly and efficiently. Probably everyone remembers how, at the beginning of a full-scale war, Patreon blocked the collection for the “Turn Around Alive” foundation, arguing that it was “support for violence”, contrary to the rules of the platform.
Digital assets saved the situation. In “Turn Around Alive”, the collection was expanded to various types of cryptocurrencies, which allowed the fund to continue its work promptly.
What role the cryptocurrency played in the defense of Ukraine, and how it became a lifeline for donations – we understand the partner project together with Bitmedia Labs.
The Crypto Lifeline
Over the past 4 years, donations in digital currency have grown significantly in volumes around the world. And since the beginning of the war on the territory of Ukraine, crypto donates have increased significantly.
Even at the state level, after the start of Russia’s full-scale offensive on the territory of Ukraine, they bet on the crypt, among other things. At the end of February, the Ministry of Digital Transformation opened official accounts for collecting donations in digital currency.
Криптоспільнота підтримує Україну з перших днів війни, як тільки російські танки зайшли на наші території.
За понад 3 місяці загальна сума донатів в криптоактивах перевищила $100 млн, із них більше $60 млн надійшли в криптофонд Aid For Ukraine. За ці кошти криптофонд закуповує автомобілі на передову, дрони та інше необхідне обладнання для наших захисників.
Український криптобізнес також долучився до збору коштів. Блокчейн-компанія Everstake задонатила $10 млн в крипті, з яких $3,4 млн — в криптофонд Aid For Ukraine. Цих коштів достатньо, щоб закупити понад 5 тисяч бронежилетів, кожен з яких рятує життя наших захисників.
Залучаємо технологічний світ до підтримки України і стаємо ближче до перемоги кожного дня.
And already in March, together with the FTX cryptocurrency exchange and the Ukrainian decentralized staking provider in the blockchain industry, Everstake launched the Aid For Ukraine website. Its main task is to raise funds from the crypto community to meet military and humanitarian needs. For more than 3 months, the total amount of donations in crypto assets exceeded $ 100 million, of which more than $ 60 million went to the Aid For Ukraine crypto fund.
Why did cryptocurrency “support” non-state funds as Well
Why did cryptocurrency “support” non-state funds as Well
As Roman Sinitsyn, the head of the military direction of the Sergei Pritula Charitable Foundation, explains, in the first months of a full-scale invasion, the cryptocurrency turned out to be a panacea. “We were flooded a lot, there was a payment for $ 1 million in crypt, and thanks to him we quickly bought up a lot of everything we could reach for the crypt: radio stations, copters, thermal imagers, night vision devices,” explains Sinitsyn.
His words are confirmed by Elliptic data: until February 24, the role of cryptocurrency was insignificant — donations did not exceed several hundred dollars per day. But since February 24, they have grown sharply – first to hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the next day to millions in general.
According to Roman Kiyashko, cryptocurrency manager of the “Turn Around Alive” foundation, donations in cryptocurrency in February-March were huge: even seven-figure sums sometimes arrived to the fund’s wallets. On February 25, the Turn Around Alive Foundation received one of the largest one-time donations from an unknown person. The donation amount was 80 bitcoins, or the equivalent of $3 million.
At the same time, donors were not limited to bitcoin alone. In fact, the popular bitcoin and ether accounted for only a third of donations. The rest are other cryptocurrencies, among which stablecoins played a significant role.
The Fund also has crypto wallets in three cryptocurrencies: USDT, ERC and bitcoin. Most of all for all the time managed to collect in USDT. “We usually try to convert donations in bitcoin and ether immediately into a stablecoin – USDT or USDC. This way it is possible to smooth out the fluctuations of the exchange rates a little and not lose on these jumps,” explains Sinitsyn. Therefore, the role of the crypt in Ukraine is difficult to overestimate.
“We identify several reasons why crypto-donates became popular with the beginning of the full–scale phase of the war in Ukraine,” explains Tanya Petrusenko, CEO of the company Bitmedia.io – “The value of Crypto has grown exponentially over the years. In 2009, the most popular digital currency Bitcoin cost cents, and in November 2021, the price for 1 Bitcoin reached $69 thousand.”
The second reason is that the volumes of cryptocurrencies are above average.
Media coverage of the explosive growth of cryptocurrencies over the past few years has led to a surge in investment in the digital currency. According to Fidelity Charitable, in 2020, 45% of cryptocurrency owners donated $1,000 or more to charities, which totals $28 million. This figure has risen sharply to $331 million in 2021, which is almost 12 times more than in the previous year.
And last but not least, the reason is that accepting donations in the crypt is easier than ever. “The process of accepting such donations may seem difficult to understand, given the complexity of the legal status of cryptocurrencies in different countries. However, digital markets have made it very easy to accept appropriate donations. You just need to have a crypto wallet, find out from the charity foundation which cryptocurrencies are available for donations (usually this information is available on the website or in the social networks of the funds) and transfer any amount to the fund’s account. Everything is transparent, fast and convenient,” explains Petrusenko.
During the first two months of the war, according to Crypto for Ukraine, participants of the crypto market donated more than $100 million to Ukraine. The founder and CEO of Bitmedia, Matvey Dyadkov, recalls that since the end of February, the company and its employees have started donating crypts to the needs of the APU.
“Together with donor partners (and these are mainly gaming and crypto projects), we announced the sale of exclusive miners. The players and participants were informed that all proceeds will be transferred to charitable foundations that help both the Ukrainian Armed Forces, displaced persons, and injured Ukrainians. My team and I decided to create our own charitable foundation that will encourage foreign owners of cryptocurrencies to donate for Ukrainians,” explains Matvey Dyadkov.
So Bitmedia Labs founded the Bitmedia Fund. Since one of the company’s developers joined the ranks of the Armed Forces on the first day of the full-scale invasion, it was through him that the company received requests for help from the military.
According to the company, his colleagues began to buy necessary things at their own expense and transport them from abroad. Due to the fact that it was already impossible to buy ammunition, military tactical first aid kits, or dry rations in Ukraine, the company established logistics throughout Europe for the rapid transportation of humanitarian and military aid. For almost the entire first month of spring, the company worked through requests directly from the military.
Subsequently, civilians from different parts of Ukraine began to apply, so the team expanded the directions of assistance.
Bitmedia Fund, thanks to the involvement of foreign donors, were able to purchase a car for the Armed Forces and rescue the wounded, as well as purchase and deliver the necessary medicines for the victims of the shelling.
“Now Bitmedia Fund continues to attract donors to the development of Ukraine after the victory. Their goal is that, thanks to cryptodonts, Ukrainian children have free access to Ukrainian education and are provided with the necessary equipment for unhindered access to information. We strive to ensure that Ukraine is the cleanest country in Europe and we also want to involve children in environmental initiatives and actions that we will conduct together with other organizations,” the Bitmedia Fund team explained.
Reference. Bitmedia Fund today
With the help of international transfers in the crypt, the fund raised an amount for the purchase of ten cars for the military. Part of the funds were allocated for the purchase of clothing and shoes for defenders, as well as the purchase of military equipment.
Bitmedia Labs is an international product company whose main project is a decentralized platform for banner crypto advertising Bitmedia.io . Therefore, it is logical that the donations were collected in digital currency. So, the organization transferred $200 thousand to the Sergei Pritula foundation in the crypt. With the assistance of his office, several vehicles were handed over to the military.
Currently, Bitmedia Fund continues to help the military, temporarily displaced persons and victims of the armed conflict. The organization accepts and distributes donations for the purchase of medical equipment for hospitals and hospitals, necessary medicines and preparations, as well as cars for the needs of the Armed Forces, evacuation buses, etc. In addition, the charitable foundation develops initiatives to help children, in particular, the launch of “green” projects, the arrangement of playgrounds, psychological support for children during and in the post-war period.
The Bitmedia Foundation accepts donations in Bitcoins (BTC), Ether (ETH/ERC-20) and USDT, an analogue of the US dollar, but in crypt (USDT/ERC-20). Addresses of crypto wallets for donations can be found on the foundation’s web
Advantages of transfers in cryptocurrency
Donates in the crypt have become popular due to the speed and efficiency of transaction processing. The decentralization inherent in the crypto market also played a role.
First, the speed. While international transfers in traditional fiat money can last several days or weeks, processing a transaction on the crypto market takes minutes. As Roman Sinitsin explains, without the need for bank approvals, purchases with crypto go faster, unlike purchases with fiat (ordinary) money, since the bank requires a lot of documents and does not miss a payment for a long time.
Secondly, the decentralization of this market, the features of blockchain technology allow you to avoid intermediaries.
In cryptocurrency, there are no banks that detain money and verify its origin, or organizations that can voluntarily close the recipient’s account.
Third, anonymity. Foreigners worry that they may be accused of financing the war, especially business representatives. At the same time, the crypto account has no name and provides a high level of confidentiality.