Close to the founders of the protocol: Ukraine shows how cryptocurrency “provides assistance directly to people”

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, millions of cryptocurrency donations have found their way into the digital wallets of the Ukrainian government and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) operating in the region.

Ukraine raised $63 million in crypto donations within two weeks of the invasion, according to Blockchain Elliptic analytics firm.

“At first, [cryptocurrency] She was the lifeblood, says Near Protocol co-founder, Ilya Polosukhin Decrypt At the Messari Mainnet in New York City. Polosokhin says the first thing he thought of when he heard Russia was invading Ukraine was how he could help.

Polosukhin said that when he decided to donate money to Ukraine, his interest went to Ukraine’s financial sector and whether any banks would survive. “If you send a bank transfer, it may arrive, it may not arrive, and there may not be a bank tomorrow,” he said.

Because of these concerns, Polosukhin says he decided to donate the cryptocurrency instead. “Crypto is actually a safe option,” Polosukhin says. “It’s fast and we can save published capital.”

Soon, Polosukhin recalls, he joined forces with other founders to launch the Unchain Fund, which uses cryptocurrency to support global causes – one of the public ideals of the crypto movement.

“It’s flexible, fast, and helps people directly,” he said.

Several big names in the blockchain have donated to Ukraine, including Ethereum founders Vitalik Buterin and Gavin Wood, along with FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, who together with crypto provider Everstake launched an official crypto fundraising page called Aid for Ukraine.

While there is no accurate accounting of the amount of crypto donations Ukraine has received, a Financial Times report in April 2022 said the total amounted to more than $100 million.

Polosukhin says that while crypto donations to Ukraine have slowed, the Unchain Fund remains active in the region. At one point, Polosukhin says, the fund had as many as 5,000 volunteers working in Ukraine. In September, Unchain Fund partnered with Ukraine DAO and Atlantis World to launch the Kyiv Tech Summit, which included a panel discussion with Ethereum co-founder and Ukrainian backer Vitalik Buterin.

In August, Buterin said he used the Tornado Cash mixer service and privacy tool to donate to Ukraine, a day after the site was blacklisted by the US Treasury.

Polosukhin says the goal of the summit is to draw attention to Web3 developers in Ukraine.

“Ukrainian developers are outsourcing,” Polosukhin said. Decrypt. “Many companies and their clients have cut ties with Ukrainian companies because their risk model is unrecognizable.” [working with] A company in a country at war.”

For Polosukhin, Web3 and cryptocurrency are ways to get around this embrace, and he hopes more people will get involved in building solutions with blockchain technology.

“Web3 don’t care,” he says. “[It] Don’t care where you come from or where you’re going. If you build and deliver great products, and solve people’s problems, you will be rewarded.”

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