A Ukrainian refugee, who goes by the pseudonym Fadey, has reached Poland with $2,000 worth of Bitcoin held in a USB drive.
“I couldn’t withdraw cash at all, because queues to ATMs were so long, and I couldn’t wait that much time,” Fadey told CNBC. The funds reportedly represent approximately 40% of his life savings. “I could just write my seed phrase on a piece of paper and take it with me.”
Fadey also said that he made a peer-to-peer exchange with a friend, and traded $600 worth of his Bitcoin savings for Poland’s national currency, złoty.
He used these funds to pay for transport into Poland, a hostel, and some food.
Ukraine and Crypto
Fadey added that he was unable to transfer his traditional funds to Poland—hence the importance of crypto to his financial welfare.
Other than his Bitcoin holdings, Fadey also holds an undisclosed amount of the privacy cryptocurrency Monero on Binance.
Fadey’s story is just one part of Ukraine’s growing reliance on cryptocurrencies in the wake of Russia’s invasion last month.
On February 26, 2022, just two days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, the Ukrainian government announced that it was receiving donations in Bitcoin and Ethereum. Per blockchain records, these addresses have received over $15 million and $24 million in Bitcoin and Ethereum, respectively.
The government has also received donations in Polkadot and Dogecoin—and just one week after the war began, Ukraine had received over $50 million in crypto donations.
Alex Bornyakov, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Digital Transformation, revealed earlier this month exactly how the Ukrainian government has been spending the crypto donations received.
“Crypto assets proved extremely helpful in facilitation of funding flows to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Huge thanks to everyone who donated to the Crypto Fund of Ukraine,” Bornyakov said.
According to his tweet, crypto donations have been spent on over 5,000 bulletproof vests, 400,000 packed lunches, as well as 500 helmets, and other important resources for the military.
“Each and every helmet and vest bought via crypto donations is currently saving soldiers’ lives,” Bornyakov added.