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'Crypto Is Helping' Ukraine Amid Russia's Invasion, Says Deputy Minister

Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation Alex Bornyakov today said that crypto has been "essential" in aiding the Ukrainian army.

2 min read
Bitcoin in Ukraine. Image: Shutterstock

Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation Alex Bornyakov today said that cryptocurrencies are helping Ukraine in the wake of Russia’s invasion. 

“In a situation like this where the national bank is not really operating, crypto is helping to perform fast transfers, to make it very quick and get results almost immediately,” Bornyakov said today during a Collective[i] Forecast Zoom call attended by Decrypt

Bornyakov qualified his claim by adding that he doesn’t believe crypto donations are playing a “major part” in Ukraine’s wider economy, but also said that the role of cryptocurrencies is “essential in this conflict, in terms of helping our army.” 

The deputy minister also said that the total amount of cryptocurrency donations made to Ukraine is now “close to $100 million.”

Ukraine and crypto donations

On February 26—two days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began—the Ukrainian government tweeted a Bitcoin and Ethereum address for would-be donors to use when sending funds to the government. 

Per blockchain records, those two addresses have received $12 million worth of Bitcoin, and $20 million worth of Ethereum, respectively. 

According to data published by blockchain analytics platform Elliptic, Ukraine has now received over $60 million worth of cryptocurrency donations. 

“To date, the Bitcoin, Ethereum, TRON, Polkadot, Dogecoin and Solana addresses listed in the tweets have received donations worth $51.2 million,” Elliptic said.

Ukraine and crypto pre-conflict

Even before Russia’s invasion, Ukraine has been eager to explore opportunities in the crypto space. 

Last year, the Ministry of Digital Transformation had drafted legislation to legalize cryptocurrencies in the country. On September 8, 2021, the Ukrainian parliament voted to legalize the industry and allow crypto exchanges to operate legally in Ukraine. 

What’s more, in September 2020, blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis named Ukrainians as the top adopters of cryptocurrencies in the world.  

“We have one of the strongest and biggest blockchain communities in the world,” Bornyakov said during today’s call. 

Bornyakov also said he hasn’t “heard anything” from President Zelensky when it comes to cryptocurrency donations during the Russian invasion, “but he totally supported us with our initiatives of crypto legislation.” 

“He also shares our vision that this could be a breakthrough from an economic standpoint for Ukraine.”

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