Cryptoassets are proving to be a useful way to raise money for organizations in Ukraine, as banks are taking new restrictive measures and at least one fiat-based fundraising service has suspended donations to a Ukrainian non-profit organization.
Given the current situation on the ground in Ukraine, there is no shortage of non-profit organizations and charities that raise money to support the Ukrainian people. However, not everyone accepts crypto so far, although the number of those who do is increasing day by day, as circumstances make fiat-based transfers more difficult. In particular, the new measures of the National Bank of Ukraine – the central bank of the country – have made it much more difficult for Ukrainian organizations to rely on banks and traditional fiat-based money transfer systems.
Among the new rules is the order to suspend the issuance of e-money and the replenishment of electronic wallets with e-money. In addition, the country’s foreign exchange market has been suspended, with the official exchange rate for the national currency now fixed, while cash withdrawals have been limited to Ukrainian hryvnia ($3,339) per day.
As an alternative, some in Ukraine, as well as people abroad who want to support the country, have turned to crypto as a more effective solution.
Based on a review by * *, the following Ukrainian organizations accept Bitcoin (BTC) or other cryptoassets for donations (the list may grow as we discover more organizations):
- Come Back Alive, a non-profit organization that supports the Armed Forces of Ukraine;
- The Kyiv Independent news agency based in Ukraine:
- Hospitallers, a volunteer organization that helps wounded Ukrainian soldiers –
In addition to these established organizations, members of the crypto community have joined forces in recent days to create the following crypto-native organizations in support of Ukraine:
In addition, several other lists have also been shared online, although many of the listed organizations still do not accept crypto. Among them was the list that Bitcoin lawyer and chief strategy officer of the Human Rights Foundation, Alex Gladstein, shared on Twitter early Friday.
Among the organizations that accept crypto donations, the Kyiv Independent set up its Bitcoin wallet only on Thursday of this week. At the time of writing (14:30 UTC), the wallet had already received some USD 23,000 (0.58 BTC) in donations. Meanwhile, Come Back Alive, the non-profit organization that supports the Ukrainian Armed Forces with equipment, has received millions of dollars through its Bitcoin donation exchange with a single incoming transaction
And although many non-profit organizations accept crypto, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine said on its donation page that "national legislation does not allow" Bitcoin and fiat-based platforms such as PayPal to be used for state donations.
The National Bank also announced that it has opened a donation account to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine. "It has been set up and opened to receive transfers from international partners and donors," accepting multiple currencies, the announcement says, citing USD, EUR, GBP and UAH.
The sizable donations were seen when Fiat-based fundraising platform Patreon suspended a donation page for Come Back Alive, citing a violation of its policies. "We do not allow Patreon to be used to finance weapons or military activities. It is a violation of our policies, and so we have removed the page. Any remaining funds in the account will be refunded to contributors," the company said in a statement posted on its website today.
The move has been criticized by members of the crypto community, with some comparing it to similar measures taken by crowdfunding sites GoFundMe and GiveSendGo to stop donations to the trucker convoy protests in Canada due to COVID-19 measures.
In the meantime, some companies from the crypto world have also decided to take matters into their own hands more directly.
Among them is FTX, the crypto exchange led by crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, who said she handed out USD 25 to every Ukrainian FTX user. "Do what you have to do," the FTX boss added to a tweet announcing the move.
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