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Michael Chobanian, how does crypto help in the war against Russia?

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Michael Chobanian, how does crypto help in the war against Russia?

Michael Chobanian is considered the “godfather of cryptocurrencies” in Ukraine. The son of a miner becomes one of the first Ukrainian BTC miners, in 2015 he founded the country’s first crypto exchange Kuna and set up the first BTC ATM.

Today, the 38-year-old is leading the Ukrainian government’s official crypto fundraising campaign. Over $100 million in cryptocurrencies is raising in March. The state uses it to buy bulletproof vests and medicine to supply the troops and population in the war against Russia.

For the interview, Michael Chobanian responded via voice messages on Telegram for web BTC-ECHO.

In your home country there is war, danger and insecurity. You are currently flying around the world on behalf of the Ukrainian government, to peaceful countries. Do you find it difficult to reconcile these two realities?

Michael Chobanian: For me it is an unreal situation. Last week I was in Paris, now I’m in Asia. I live on the plane most of the time. Sometimes I briefly forget that a catastrophe is happening in my home country. Then I read the news and I immediately realize how bad it is.

My family and I fled on the day the war began. If I hear a loud bang or the cicadas in the night today, I startle. I then think of the air raid alarm and the bombs that woke us up that morning in Kyiv. My nervous system hasn’t recovered from it yet.

But I’m lucky. Many Ukrainians don’t even have a roof over their heads anymore. It’s terrible. I have to help my country. That is my duty.

You discovered BTC in 2011 and made cryptocurrencies your full-time job two years later. How did that go? What did your friends and family think about it?

Michael Chobanian: There is an irony in our family history. My father toiled all his life as a coal miner, just like his father before him. I later mined BTC in his office.

When I first heard about BTC in 2011, I didn’t believe in its value. That only changed in the course of the banking crisis in Cyprus two years later. Buying BTC was the only way people could save their wealth from the government.

I thought: If BTC can protect you from government tyranny, I should study it. And I did, almost a year and a half. It was overwhelming.

You are leading Ukraine’s official crypto fundraising campaign today. How did it change the view of cryptocurrencies there?

Michael Chobanian: The campaign saved many lives. A BTC transaction takes fifteen minutes, sending money from abroad via SWIFT takes two days or more. People in the military and government now understand: Crypto has value to them — and to our country.

The National Bank of Ukraine is still fighting crypto. But the war turned most skeptics into supporters. Crypto will stay. It’s mainstream now. That’s maybe the only positive thing from this war.

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All content in this article is for informational purposes only and in no way serves as investment advice. Investing in cryptocurrencies, commodities and stocks is very risky and can lead to capital losses.

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