War is raging throughout Ukraine. After 8 years of armed conflict in the east of the country, on the morning of February 24, Russian forces launched an invasion of the neighboring state from three sides. The Ukrainian military is hardly a match for the technical and manpower superiority of their enemy. However, Ukrainian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) support their own troops with privately financed equipment. Cryptocurrencies play an important role in this. As of February 25, one of them raised over $4 million in BTC donations.
Come Back Alive raises over $4 million in BTC
The blockchain analysts from Elliptical watch the influx of crypto donations to Ukrainian NGOs for several weeks. In doing so, they located several BTC wallets. The largest of them belongs to the organization Повернись живим –which translates to English with come back alive and in German with come back alive lets play. Since 2014, the NGO, founded by Kiev IT specialist Vitaly Deynega, has been funding equipment for the Ukrainian army.
Owes its own name Come back alive an inscription applied to bulletproof vests – her first donation to the Ukrainian military. The NGO now procures a whole range of military and medical equipment and also offers training courses. With the help of donations, she even implemented a drone-based reconnaissance system for the Ukrainian artillery.
The organization has been accepting crypto donations since 2018. The amount of BTC multiplied on February 24th alone the wallet the NGO. On the first day of the Russian invasion, received $675,000 in donations in BTC. On February 25, wallet raked in an additional $3.4 million. 3 million US dollars can be traced back to a single donation. Holds at the time of writing Come back alive according to BTC with a total value of about 4.1 million US dollars.
The inflow of funds in the form of BTC comes at just the right time. Because on February 24 of all days, Patreon took down the donation page Come Back Alive from the platform. Included it was said raising funds for war equipment would be against the platform’s policies.
The First “Crypto War”
As Ukraine’s national currency hryvnia is in freefall, Ukrainian BTC exchanges saw record sales on Feb. 25. In Russia threw themselves the citizens meanwhile on the ATMs. The amount of cash withdrawn was high, but not as high as at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it is also conceivable that the war and western sanctions will fuel crypto adoption in Russia.
the Washington Post calls the Russian attack on Ukraine the “world’s first crypto war.” According to Tom Robinson of Elliptic It is not clear which party to the conflict is most likely to benefit from the decentralized potential of cryptocurrencies.
Because on the one hand there are crypto donations like those for Come Back Alive. On the other hand, BTC and Co. are also a potential vehicle for Russia’s elites to circumvent western sanctions. According to Robinson, it is conceivable, for example, that Russia will follow Iran’s example. It could use its own energy reserves for crypto mining to earn billions in foreign exchange.