After the Ukrainian government issued an appeal for donations in cryptocurrencies amid the Russian invasion, millions of crypto coins have been transferred as donations to Ukraine's war effort fund from donors around the world. Cryptocurrency analysts have revealed that at least $13.7 million (Â£10.2m) worth of digital assets have so far been transferred to the Ukrainian war effort through anonymous Bitcoin donations, according to a BBC report.
A post shared on the official Twitter handle of Ukraine read, "Stand with the people of Ukraine. Now accepting cryptocurrency donations. Bitcoin, Ethereum and USDT. BTC - 357a3So9CbsNfBBgFYACGvxxS6tMaDoa1P ETH and USDT (ERC-20) - 0x165CD37b4C644C2921454429E7F9358d18A45e14."
More than 4,000 donations in cryptocurrencies have been made so far and over $3.5 million has been received only in the government's BTC address.
Within hours after the tweet was published online, $5.4 million dollars worth of cryptocurrencies were received by the wallets. Over $5 million in ETH has been transferred to the Ethereum wallet address including $1.3 million in other crypto assets and USDT.
So, where are the funds coming from?
Reports suggest that apart from anonymous Bitcoin transfers, about $1.86 million of the funds donated to Ukraine was generated through a non-fungible token, or NFT sale, which was originally intended for a crowdfunding for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, according to Elliptic. An unknown donor has alone gifted a whopping $3 million worth of Bitcoins to a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) in Ukraine.
Who else donated?
Crypto Billionaire, Pussy Riot has joined Ukraine's crowdfunding efforts alongside Ukraine's central bank while Billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried said his company is giving away money to Ukrainians to help support the embattled country.
How crypto donations are helping Ukraine?
The Ukrainian Digital Ministry has explained that the donations is to "help" Ukraine's defence forces. However, it did not clarify how exactly they would spend the funds.
Tom Robinson, founder of the Blockchain analysis company Elliptic told the BBC, "Whereas some crowdfunding and payments companies have refused to allow donations to be made to groups supporting the Ukrainian military, cryptocurrencies have emerged as a powerful alternative."
Meanwhile, hackers have also found ways to take advantage of the situation scamming cryptocurrency users. Elliptic stated that they have discovered at least one social media post was a copy of a legitimate tweet from a NGO. However, the user switched the legitimate wallet address of Bitcoin allegedly with his/her own address.