Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the international community has been focused on ways to help the Ukrainian army fight Russian aggression. Governments from around the world have offered financial aid, deliveries of equipment, and opened the doors to Ukrainian refugees.
As the military actions against Ukraine escalated, government officials recognized the need for a swift funding solution.
Numerous requests had been issued to the Ukrainian government, requesting that they set up a crypto wallet address and start accepting digital currency donations. While initially hesitant, the Ukrainian leaders finally decided to accept the offer on February 26th, tweeting that the country had started to accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tether donations.
Interestingly, the country’s Vice PM, Mykhailo Fedorov, personally shared wallet addresses for donations. While addresses for Bitcoin and Ethereum remained the same as the ones that the country’s official Twitter account shared, the USDT address was changed to a TRC-20 version of Tether.
Crypto Industry Makes its Own Efforts to Help
Many have expressed surprise that Ukraine acted so quickly. Ethereum’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, even suspected that the country officials’ accounts were hacked. However, US diplomat Tomicah Tillemann confirmed that the addresses really do belong to the Ukrainian officials.
The setting up of a crypto donation pipeline comes at a time when many Ukrainian civilians–turned refugees–have reported that they lost their fiat savings, as well as their credit cards. As of February 26th, over 150,000 people have been displaced from Ukraine.
Initially, there was confusion about how the crypto donations would be used; however, Buterin quickly shared a DAO initiative that focuses solely on the country’s citizens in need. It is now believed that the funds donated to the government’s accounts will be used by the Ukrainian government, while the DAO donations will be redirected towards the Ukrainian citizens.
Other major crypto personalities have expressed their desire to help the Ukrainian people, including FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, who was among the first to offer monetary support and encourage others to do the same.