The Ukrainian army is receiving support from the international population in the form of bitcoin donations. These troops have seen how their supporters have evaded financial institutions, which could block transactions, thanks to cryptocurrencies.
President Volodymir Zelensky’s side, much more limited in numbers and capacity than Vladimir Putin’s, has received more than 4 million dollars in cryptocurrencies through Come Back Alive, a Ukrainian NGO.
As the organization reports, in the first 12 hours of Thursday alone, donors sent nearly US$675,000 in cryptocurrency. However, a donation of US$3 million in crypto assets from an anonymous supporter boosted the NGO’s fundraising on Friday.
This particular way of getting donations to Ukrainian troops also responds to the need to circumvent the martial law imposed by Zelensky following the advance of Russian forces, which limits access to foreign currencies as well as cash withdrawals.
However, Patreon, one of the platforms the NGO used for fundraising, shut down the Come Back Alive page. Patreon does not allow any campaign involved in violence or the purchase of military equipment, regardless of its cause, so the platform announced that it would return donations to users.
Although the financial support provided by these supporters is almost insignificant compared to Russian might, it will be used to provide Zelenski’s troops with military equipment, medical supplies and drones. In addition, part of the donation will go towards the development of a facial recognition application, which will identify potential Russian mercenaries or spies.
Similarly, crowdfunding campaigns are proliferating around the world, starting with traditional Facebook fundraisers and ending with decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). A DAO is an organization represented by rules encoded as a computer program that is transparent, controlled by the organization members and not influenced by a central government. They are member-owned communities without centralized leadership. Besides, the financial transaction record and program rules are maintained on a blockchain.