NewsBusiness

Ukraine Military Bitcoin Donations Surge to Over $4 Million

Most of the cryptocurrency was sent by a single donor who sent $3 million.

2 min read
Bitcoin in Ukraine. Image: Shutterstock

In brief

  • Cryptocurrency donations keep flooding in to support pro-Ukraine groups.
  • As of today, NGOs and volunteer groups have received $4 million in crypto since Russia invaded Thursday.

Bitcoin donations are flooding in to support Ukraine's military: as of today, pro-Ukrainian groups have received over $4 million in cryptocurrency since Russia invaded Thursday, according to the latest data from blockchain analytics firm Elliptic. 

Yesterday, Decrypt reported that figure was just $400,000—it has since increased tenfold. London-based Elliptic said Friday that NGOs and volunteer groups had raised the cash. 

Donations are being sent in cryptocurrency because it is quick and easy, Elliptic said, and can bypass regulations. But the sudden flow of cryptocurrency came from one single donor, who sent $3 million-worth of Bitcoin (80 BTC) in one day. 

"Cryptoassets such as Bitcoin have also emerged as an important alternative funding method. They allow quick, cross-border donations, which bypass financial institutions that might be blocking payments to these groups," Elliptic said in a blog post. 

Crowdfunding website Patreon yesterday banned Come Back Alive, a Ukrainian NGO that supports Ukrainian soldiers, from its platform because it had used funds raised for weapons and military activity. Come Back Alive has received most of the crypto donations, according to the research. 

Elliptic said that Bitcoin donations may have surged because of the Patreon ban. "This development may have contributed to an increase in Bitcoin donations observed on the morning of February 25," the firm added. 

Pro-Ukraine groups were raising Bitcoin way before the war started, Decrypt reported. And others are using other crypto-related methods to raise cash: two Ukrainian students have released an NFT collection on OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace. All the profits will be donated to Come Back Alive.  

Russia on Thursday shocked the world when it invaded the Eastern European country. Russian military had been building up on the Ukrainian border for months. Russia President Vladimir Putin has since faced condemnation at home and abroad.

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