Cryptocurrency donations are playing a significant role in supporting the defence of Ukraine, according to the country’s government.
Alex Bornyakov, Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, revealed that US$54M worth of crypto donations have now been made through @_AidForUkraine. Specifically, the donations have come in the form of:
- 10,190 Ether (ETH), worth $18.7M
- 595 Bitcoin (BTC), worth $13.9M
- Tether (USDT), worth $10.4M
- USD Coin (USDC), worth $2.2M
The donations have been used to purchase equipment including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), body armour, vehicles, weapons, field rations, anti-war media, and medical supplies.
Aid For Ukraine uses the FTX crypto exchange to convert donations into fiat currency, before transferring them to the National Bank of Ukraine. Other organisations collecting crypto donations for Ukraine include the Reserve Fund of Ukraine, UkraineDAO, Unchain Fund, and Come Back Alive.
Although the crypto community is helping Ukraine defend itself from Russia, it is also frequently the target of Russian-backed attacks. In fact, according to a BBC report from February 2022, 74% of all money extorted in ransomware attacks in 2021 went to hackers affiliated with Russia.
The BBC report, which quoted research from Chainalysis, also said that despite Russia President Vladimir Putin’s denials that his country was harbouring organised hackers, almost 10% of all ransomware revenue was going to Evil Corp alone.
Evil Corp is a well organised criminal group run by individuals including Igor Turashev. In November 2021, a BBC investigation found that Turashev was blatantly operating a number of businesses based in Moscow City’s Federation Tower – one of Russia’s most prestigious business and residential addresses.