From Ukraine’s central bank to a crypto-linked organisation launched by Russian punk band Pussy Riot, donations are pouring in to help the country
From Ukraine’s central bank to a crypto-linked organisation launched by Russian punk band Pussy Riot, several groups are soliciting donations to help support the embattled country. Billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried says his company is giving away money to Ukrainians.
According to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, about $4 million in cryptocurrencies had been donated to non-governmental organizations and volunteer groups in Ukraine as of Friday. The donations show how an increasingly online world is providing more options for donors who previously would have been limited to giving via large charities such as the Red Cross.
The efforts are ongoing as Russian troops close in on the capital city of Kyiv, with Ukraine accusing its attacker of targeting civilians. Russia says it’s only aiming at military assets.
For all the donations, the amounts raised so far are minuscule compared to Ukraine’s military budget, which was about $3.9 billion in 2021. Lawmakers agreed to increase defense spending by about $870 million earlier this week. Russia spends more than 10 times as much as Ukraine on defence.
As explosions and air-raid sirens bombarded Ukraine’s capital overnight, more crowdfunding efforts swelled across the globe. These ranged from traditional fundraising campaigns on Facebook to crowdfunding via decentralized autonomous organizations, or DAOs — member-owned organizations that use blockchain technology to raise money via cryptocurrencies.
Pussy Riot, known for its guerilla-style protest performances and criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin, announced the launch of UkraineDAO to raise funds for civilian organizations including Kyiv non-profit Come Back Alive and Proliska, a humanitarian organization helping civilians in the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
“Crypto is borderless, permitless and it’s so much easier and faster than fiat,” Pussy Riot founder Nadya Tolokonnikova said in a live conversation on Twitter spaces.
“One of the main promises that crypto hopes to bring to people is being able to access financial tools that might be difficult in many parts of the world to access otherwise,” FTX President Brett Harrison said in a livestreamed chat Friday, adding that the exchange’s Ukrainian user base is growing.
“Patreon does not allow any campaigns involved in violence or purchasing of military equipment, regardless of their cause,” a spokesperson from Patreon told Bloomberg, adding that it violates the company’s policy. The company said in a blog post that it will refund contributors.
Representatives for National Bank of Ukraine, Come Back Alive and Army SOS didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Source : Ndtv.com