How to Donate Crypto to Ukraine, and Ensure Your Coins Are Going to the Right Places

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Russia’s extensive invasion of Ukraine last month inspired support around the world, from dozens of other countries to dozens of anonymous crypto traders.

Together with conventional military aidUkraine has received more than $50 million in crypto donations since the start of the war, according to Research from blockchain analytics firm Elliptic. The majority of the donations stem from a tweet from the Ukrainian government asking for donations from Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether and Polkadot. The Ukrainian government has since expanded the number of cryptocurrencies it accepts for donations to include Dogecoin, TRON, Solana, and NFTs.

As the human costs of the war become apparent, the death toll rises rapidly and Ukrainian refugees flee en masse to safety, empathy and the desire to help are strong around the world. For crypto investors, the war offers a unique opportunity to help in a material way. With its banking system under threat from the Russian attack, cryptocurrency offers a decentralized way to funnel financial aid to the Ukrainian government, experts say.

“One of the main ways to eliminate this threat is through alternative financial structures, [like] crypto,” said Grant Maddox, an independent CFP based in South Carolina.

Ukraine has already spent more than $35 million of the donations it received in crypto on military supplies, $10 million in humanitarian aid and $6.5 million in general aid, according to a tweet by Alex Bornyakov, Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine. The Ukrainian government aims to: double the $50 million figure in the following week.

Aside from direct donations to the Ukrainian government, millions more in crypto have been raised by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other initiatives. For example, the Russian punk rock group Pussy Riot helped set up a decentralized autonomous organization called UkraineDAOwhich aims to donate Ethereum to come back alive, a Ukrainian NGO that supports the military’s efforts to defend Ukraine from Russia. the DAO say it has raised over $5 million to date.

For Come Back Alive, crypto donations are even more important after the group was recently suspended by Patreon, a membership platform that allows people to give money to individuals and groups, for violating its policy. Patreon said in a press release the platform cannot be “used to fund weapons or military activities” and any monies in the account prior to February will be returned to donors.

If you’re considering donating crypto to support Ukraine, here’s what you need to know:

What You Need To Know Before Donating Crypto To Ukraine

In a scenario where two countries are at war with each other, it is difficult to rely on traditional banks and there is fear of supervision, experts say. As a result, Ukraine has switched to crypto.

“There’s a compelling use case,” said Chris Chen, financial advisor at Insight Financial Strategists in Newton, Massachusetts. Chen says the Ukrainian government can exchange crypto for the US dollar and buy supplies to aid the fight against Russia.

Unfortunately, Russia could also use crypto in a similar way to fund its war effort and dodge western imposed sanctions on its central bank and other sources of wealth. Some of the largest crypto exchanges, including Coinbase, Binance and Kraken, have refused to freeze Russian accounts because it would “go against the very reason crypto exists,” a Binance spokesperson said. told CNBC

“Russia does not know who is financing Ukraine. Unfortunately, many may be following the same funding strategy for Russia,” said Maddox.

Donating crypto can be more transparent, faster and more cost effective than donating conventional currencies. Because blockchain is an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions, the flow of money is highly transparent. This also reduces costs, both in terms of fees and time.

But the crypto ecosystem is also ripe for fraud and scams. Before donating, it’s important to do some research to make sure your donations are going to the right places. “The standards for identifying accounts are still under development,” Chen said.

If you’re sending crypto directly to friends and family in Ukraine, verifying their identities shouldn’t be such a big deal. They can set up crypto wallets and exchange crypto addresses with you.

But if you want to donate more widely, it’s safer to send crypto through on-site non-profits, or in this case directly the Ukrainian government. If you choose to donate through nonprofits and charities, look for prominent ones that have been vetted. Consider sending a small amount initially to make sure the address is correct and the recipient is the right person or organization.

It is also important to note that crypto is extremely volatile, and the evolving war in Ukraine is introducing new and significant volatility to the crypto market, several experts told NextAdvisor. If you donate $100 worth of Bitcoin to a nonprofit that supports Ukraine, your donation may not be worth that amount by the time they use it. Still, at a time of mounting military pressure, any amount can help.

How to Donate Crypto to Ukraine

There are several ways you can donate your crypto to support Ukraine. Here are a few options to consider:

Donate directly to the Ukrainian government

The safest way to ensure that your crypto is donated to Ukraine is to donate directly to the government. On February 26, Ukraine’s official (and verified) Twitter account shared two cryptocurrency wallet addresses: a Bitcoin wallet address and an Ethereum wallet address. It also accepts USDT and Polkadot.

We could not confirm the tweet’s legitimacy with the Ukrainian government, but there are several reasons why it appears that the Ukrainian government has control over the money received at these wallet addresses. Chen points out that it hasn’t been removed since it was posted. “There is speculation that if it was fake, someone would have noticed and removed it,” he says. Second, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov tweeted same crypto wallet addresses – from its own verified account.

To donate, you need two basic things: a cryptocurrency wallet with some coins and a public key address to send a transaction to. You enter the address of the wallet you want to send the donation to and the amount you want to send. Always check the address they ship to before clicking ‘send’. How long the transaction takes and how much you pay in fees also differs between blockchains.

Donate to Supporting NGOs

Some nonprofits and charities accept crypto donations directly, including: come back aliveUkraine DAOand the Kiev independentan English-language Ukrainian newspaper that reports on the war through its Twitter account.

Crypto fundraising campaigns in support of Ukrainian humanitarian efforts are also organized through third party platforms such as Endaoment. A public fund established on commitment to support Ukraine has raised more than $500,000 in crypto, and the proceeds will be shared equally among seven different nonprofits, the platform says. The US-Ukraine Foundation, one of the organizations participating in the Endaoment Fund, says it was able to partner with another nonprofit to send $50,000 in humanitarian medical supplies to Ukraine because of the crypto donations. up to now.

“It will have a phenomenal impact,” said John Kun, vice president of the US-Ukraine Foundation, a nonprofit that supports democracy, a free market and human rights in Ukraine. “The first packages will be delivered in a day or two.”

Another non-profit organization called Nova Ukraine said they have also received some crypto donations, but that this is a “relatively small part of the total” for the organization. Nova Ukraine too accepts donations via check, PayPal, and Benevity, a platform that partners with businesses for charitable causes.

NFTs are also used to help the Ukrainian government. Fedorov tweeted plans to issue the country’s own collection of NFTs in support of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Moreover, a number of crypto enthusiasts are gathering around Ukrainian NFT artists, together Twitter threads and Google Sheets of people to support. For example, TIMEPieces, a Web3 community initiative of our publishing house TIME, released an NFT project dubbed “Artists for Peace” who raised 121 ETH which is equivalent to $354,000.

Other ways to help Ukraine

There are several ways to help Ukraine besides donating crypto. Here is a list of charities that support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and accept online donations as standard:

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