Ukraine Raises over $16 Million in Digital Currency Donations

Using an unlikely crowdfunding method, Ukraine's government has raised more than $16 million in digital currency donations to help it get through the invasion from Russia.

The official Twitter account of the Ukrainian government on 26th February posted addresses for crypto wallets, the first accepting only bitcoin and the second taking ether and tether, a token that tracks the value of the U.S. dollar.

According to research from blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, as of 27th February, these wallets attracted $10.2 million worth of crypto. This excludes the millions in digital currency donated to non-governmental organizations supporting the Ukrainian military.

About $1.86 million of the money donated to Ukraine's government was generated by selling a non-fungible token (NFT) that was initially intended to raise funds for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Elliptic said.

Come Back Alive, an NGO that provides equipment to the Ukrainian military, has raised millions of dollars worth of digital currency since Russia's invasion. They have been accepting crypto donations since 2018. 

The NGO had its Patreon fundraising page suspended this week, with the company saying that it does not allow any campaigns involved in violence or purchasing of military equipment. Patreon lets users receive a monthly income through paid subscriptions.

According to Elliptic, Total crypto donations to the Ukrainian government and NGOs supporting the military now stand at $16.7 million.

The Ukrainian military initially said that it could not accept funds in digital currencies on bitcoin as the national legislation does not allow the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine to use other payment systems. The government, however, appears to have relaxed this stance.

The development shows how Ukraine turned to crypto for assistance during Russia's invasion.