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Russian invasion: Ukraine raises $13m in crypto after crowdfunding appeal

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Ukraine’s government on Monday raised cryptocurrency worth almost 13 million dollars in an appeal for fund raising.

Data from blockchain analysis firm Elliptic showed that Ukraine posted appeals on social media for donations of bitcoin and other digital tokens.

Ukraine’s official Twitter account made the appeal for cryptocurrency donations on Saturday following the country’s invasion by Russia, posting the wallet’s address for tokens including bitcoin and others.

Ukraine’s Vice-Prime Minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, tweeted the wallet addresses as “Stand with the people of Ukraine. Now accepting cryptocurrency donations,” wrote Fedorov, who is also minister of digital transformation.

The Interfax news agency said donations came as Russian forces seized two small cities in southeastern Ukraine and the area around a nuclear power plant but ran into stiff resistance elsewhere as Moscow’s diplomatic and economic isolation deepened.

By 08:50 a.m. Monday, the wallet addresses had received crypto worth 12.8 million dollars across almost 17, 300 donations, London-based Elliptic said.

The company tracks the movement of digital coins on the blockchain, a public ledger that records crypto transactions.

Ukraine’s ministry of digital transformation confirmed the tweets were genuine and added: “How will we use money? To destroy as much Russian soldiers as possible.”

Its crypto crowdfunding appeal was unprecedented. Though some states, notably El Salvador, has embraced cryptocurrencies, Ukraine’s appeal for direct donations was among the first of its kind.

Crypto donations to Ukrainian volunteer and hacking groups have also spiked since Russia launched its invasion on Thursday, Elliptic said.

The donations to such groups, some of which have supplied equipment to government forces, grew strongly in January as Russia massed troops near Ukraine’s border ahead of its invasion.

(Reuters/NAN)

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