Exposed: How Ukraine is Spending Cryptocurrencies Donations

2022/03/16By: L, Laura

The Ukrainian government has released a breakdown showing how crypto donations have benefitted the army.


Alex Bornyakov, the deputy minister of digital transformation, said soldiers have been supplied with 5,550 bulletproof vests, 500 ballistic plates, 3,125 thermal imagers, 500 helmets, 60 walkie-talkies, plus 410,000 packed lunches.


Digital assets have also been used to acquire medicine for troops as they defend the country from Russian forces.


Since Ukraine began accepting cryptocurrencies for donations 2 weeks ago, funds have also been used to support civilians who remain in the country — offering them access to food, water, gas and other necessities.


The latest estimates from the UN suggest that more than 2.5 million people have fled the country, in what has become the biggest refugee crisis that Europe has faced since World War Two.


Thanking those who have made a donations so far, Bornyakov tweeted:


“Each and every helmet and vest bought via crypto donations is currently saving Ukrainian soldiers’ lives.”


Donations Near $100M


According to a live dashboard by Merkle Science, cryptocurrencies worth $93 million have now been donated to Ukraine — but contributions have slowed down substantially over the past week.


More than half of these funds have gone directly to the government’s official crypto wallets, with $16 million pledged to Come Back Alive, a local volunteer group.


The dashboard suggests that 40% of the crypto donated was denominated in Ether, with 30% in Bitcoin. Binance Coin and DOT represent about 7% each, with the rest consisting of altcoins with a smaller market cap.


Crypto exchanges have also been taking action. Soon after the invasion began, Binance announced it was donating $10 million to the humanitarian efforts. Last week, the trading platform also pledged $2.5 million to UNICEF.


This week, Kraken announced that it was giving $1,000 in Bitcoin to every Ukrainian user who had opened an account before March 9 — alongside a additional $1,000 in credits to ensure conversions can be produced with no charges. The exchange stated the BTC could be withdrawn instantly, and it was designed to help those who may have been displaced by the fighting. Overall, this aid package is said to be worth over $10 million — and the company claims that the total donated will match the revenues derived from Russian users over the first half of 2022.


It comes as satellite images suggest that Russian troops are beginning to edge closer to Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital. Troops have been accused of actively firing at residential areas, and intense fighting has also been reported in other major cities.

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