Since the war began, over 1 million refugees have fled Ukraine
The crypto community has donated more than $59 million to the Ukrainian government and Come Back Alive, an NGO providing support to the military. As the Ukraine conflict enters its second week since the Russian invasion began on February 24, 2022, donations of ETH, BTC, and other cryptocurrencies continue to pour in.
According to data from blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, the total value of donations received by the Ukrainian government is $50.3 million, while Come Back Alive has received around $9 million.
The Ukrainian government – and an NGO providing support to the military combined have raised $59.2 million through more than 118,000 crypto and NFT donations since the invasion. The figure raised includes a single gift of $5.8 million from Gavin Wood, the founder of Polkadot, who asked for a DOT address to send funds to last week on Twitter, and a CryptoPunk NFT worth over $200,000. Additionally, we see a newly released mfer NFT in the wallet. The donations also include a single transaction worth $1.86 million, paid by the crypto artist Pak.
Have a look inside the official Ethereum wallet of the Ukraine Government using the DappRadar Portfolio Tracker
Several million dollars in crypto donations have also been received by Come Back Alive, a Ukrainian NGO which supports the military. The NGO was forced to turn to crypto. On February 24th, the membership platform Patreon announced that it had suspended Come Back Alive’s page due to violations due to its military activity.
While these two official channels are surely receiving the most mass media attention, countless other initiatives are happening around the globe, collecting millions of dollars for the cause.
Ukraine DAO & NFTs Raise Millions
UkraineDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization created by Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova, Trippy Labs, and PleasrDAO crowdfunded 2,188 Ether (ETH), or $5.5 million at writing, for a 1/1 Ukrainian flag NFT. Making it amongst the most expensive NFTs ever sold.
The NFT sale was set up to allow people to pool resources and bid collectively for fractionalized ownership of the digital flag. Contributors will receive ERC-20 tokens in the form of LOVE tokens depending on the donation amount. The NFT has not been fractionalized at the time of writing, and the funds have not yet been distributed.
UkraineDAO states they will distribute the sale proceeds to Come Back Alive. However, they decided that the money would be only geared toward medical help, not military equipment.
DAOs could undoubtedly do with a positivity booster after mainstream attention fell on ConstitutionDAO last year, which raised more than $40 million but failed to secure the item they wanted. More recently, one DAO, who purchased the “Dune Bible,” a script for a Dune film that was never made, wrongly thought that owning the physical item gave them IP rights to the content.
UkraineDAO shows the true power of a DAO in today’s world when applied correctly and to an arguably simple premise. In a Twitter Spaces session hosted after the sale had ended, Tolokonnikova said its mission is to leverage the power of the crypto community to help those who need it the most. By definition, UkraineDAO is succeeding thus far.
Another initiative to arise in the last few days has been the WeSupportUkraineNFT project. The organizers have developed a smart contract so that money from each NFT sale would go straight to Ukraine’s official ETH wallet without any other wallets in the transaction to not waste any ETH on gas fees. Notably, donations in the smart contract are available to withdraw once a day.
Looking at the team members’ names, it is straightforward to identify (for this writer anyway) that the core team is made up of people from Lithuania. A baltic state country that shares a border with the pro-Russian nation of Belarus which until 1991 was part of the former Soviet Union.
The number of NFTs is currently infinite as the team believes everyone who donates should be awarded an NFT badge. Moreover, the premise is straightforward and gives those donating funds a tangible reminder of their good deed. Arguably, the NFT will become like a POAP or proof-of-attendance NFT whereby proud supporters will in the future show off their badge like war heroes of yesteryear.
As large groups form to donate and rally in support of Ukraine, individuals with solid ideas and morals are also playing their part. Last week saw artists on Rarible rally behind Ukrainian artists and numerous collections arriving with the stated aim of donating all proceeds to the effort. Olive Allen, a Russian digital artist, has shown her support by openly burning her Russian passport and turning the video into an NFT. Which has now sold for almost $10,000 on NFT Marketplace SuperRare. Interestingly, it was purchased by UnicornDAO, a group united to invest in women-identified and LGBTQ+ creators. What they will now do with the item is yet to be seen.
The dark side of giving
One arguably disappointing event to happen last week was the reaction of certain people upon the announcement by the Ukraine Government that they would be distributing an airdrop to those who donated. A snapshot was announced on March 3, and looking at the chart below; you can see a massive influx of low-value donations on March 3 by people trying to secure an airdrop opportunity. In this scenario, it appears people valued the airdrop more than helping.
On Thursday, March 4, Mykhailo Fedorov, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine and the Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, announced that they had canceled the airdrop, adding: “Instead, we will announce NFTs to support Ukrainian Armed Forces soon. We DO NOT HAVE any plans to issue any fungible tokens.” Interestingly, TRON blockchain’s Justin Sun was first to comment and support the decision by Fedorov.
Technology vs brute force
The vice prime minister plays a pivotal role in the fundraising and procurement of technology required by the Ukrainian government to continue to be effective. Ukraine’s youngest cabinet minister is waging a digital war on Russia from an underground shelter in a secret location in Kyiv. Using his weapon – social media – Fedorov has urged chief executives of big businesses to cut ties with Moscow. He’s also taken the unprecedented move of setting up a volunteer IT Army of Ukraine to launch cyber-attacks against the enemy.
The majority of donations received to date have been in BTC and ETH, with US dollar-pegged stablecoins also contributing a significant proportion. But it’s not only crypto assets that are being donated; people are also sending NFTs to the Ukrainian government’s Ethereum account.
A big part of the movement for Ukraine stems from social media giant Twitter, whose unbiased and free approach helps to reveal actual events while also generating a massive buzz for giving. The hashtag #cryptoforhumanity has been influential and given an enormous push by Binance and their community.
Binance pledged to assist families and children in Ukraine, and the Binance Charity has urged individuals to make donations to help. The organization launched a relief fund program to protect children, support refugees, and protect the internally displaced people in Ukraine. After announcing that it would donate $10 million to the ongoing Ukraine crisis via donation, Binance Charity has since partnered with Unicef.
Decentralized but united
As cryptocurrencies and digital assets flash their true potential in the most disturbing situations, it cannot be forgotten that the non-crypto world is reacting with more sizable donations. However, it’s worth remembering that these donations come from centralized entities with the ability to make big moves quickly. In contrast, crypto donations are fundamentally the Ukraine government’s crowdsourced donations and show global support for their plight. In addition to the almost $60 million gathered up from the blockchain and crypto space, the White House has authorized $350 million in military aid to Ukraine. Meanwhile, USAID has pledged another $54 million in humanitarian aid to Kyiv.
Since the war began, over 1 million refugees have fled Ukraine, according to Aljazeera’s report on March 3. Donations from the crypto community will provide immediate relief to the remaining people in Ukraine, and we urge the DappRadar community to show strength and love at this difficult time.
The above does not constitute investment advice. The information given here is purely for informational purposes only. Please exercise due diligence and do your research. The writer holds ETH, BTC, AGIX, HEX, LINK, GRT, CRO, OMI, IMMUTABLE X, GALA, AVASTR, GMEE, CUBE, RADAR, FLOW, FTM, BNB, SPS, WRLD, ATOM, and ADA.