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Crypto Goes to War for Ukraine

kids with signs - Support Ukraine - Stop Putin

For the first time in cryptocurrency’s history, it is being used in mankind’s darkest activity — war.

War is led by national leaders, but when a leader acts in an aggressive manner his people are blamed. For the record, I stand with the Ukrainian people as well as the Russian people. Most of the citizens want to live their lives and be left alone.

Nothing in this should justify hatred for individual people who are Russian. It should be noted that, per one report, 6,824 Russians have been arrested for protesting the war, reportedly, including these children.

How We Got Here

Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022

In February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine.

While this arguably is a follow-up of tensions between Russia and the West going back to 2013, I will focus on the current situation.

It started with Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, acknowledging the independence of two regions in Eastern Ukraine. Then he sent in troops as “peacekeepers”. 

Soon after, he announced that his army had invaded the Ukraine under unfounded claims that the Ukrainian government was committing genocide against Russians with the target to “de-nazify” and de-militarize. 

He demanded the Ukrainian army turn on its government, lay down its arms and negotiate with the Russians without a fight. 

The opposite has happened. A brutal war has started. 

An estimated 150,000 Russian soldiers were placed on the Ukrainian border and an estimated 75,000 troops have entered Ukraine. Reports show that the Russian Army is facing intense resistance as it advances. Ukraine claims that 5,700 Russians have been killed in the fighting in the first week. 

Ukraine’s two largest cities Kyiv and Kharkiv are surrounded and being bombed.

The United Nations Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) have reported that after five days of fighting, civilian casualties are at 142 killed and 408 injured, with 13 children killed.

Also in the report: Most of these casualties were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and MLRS, and air strikes.”

They believe that real figures are considerably higher, but they are not able to provide up-to-date reports in the middle of active combat zones.

The Nazi Claim

Are there neo-Nazi’s in Ukraine? Actually there are, but Putin’s claims are absurd. 

Per data I could find online, there is a militia called the Azov Battalion with 2,500 members from 22 countries, which operates in Ukraine and preaches white supremacy. In 2018, the US Congress banned any aid to this unit. They did engage in fighting in the 2014 conflict. 

Taking a step back, the Ukrainian army has 200,000 soldiers and 500,000 in reserves. Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, is Jewish and has spoken out with a message to the world’s Jews comparing Putin’s actions in this war to Nazism.

Ukraine’s Response

Ukraine Flag Cape

This is not a statement in support or against economic sanctions, this is just a statement as to the effectiveness of Ukraine’s social media campaign.

Faced with a much larger and more prepared army, Ukrainian government officials took to social media to broadcast their defiance to bring worldwide support for Ukraine’s civilians and military defense. So far this has been extremely effective. 

Public support has swayed governments such as Germany, the U.S. and even Switzerland to enact crippling sanctions against Russia, whereas at first they hesitated.

Zellensky refused an offer from the US to fly him to safety, and instead demanded ammunition and filmed himself with top government officials in Kyiv making it clear he was going to stay and fight.

After the first night of the siege of Kyiv, Zellensky posted a video of defiance and request for help that has now been viewed over 18 million times on Twitter.

With world messages of strong support pouring in for Ukraine, Ukraine itself remains outnumbered and outgunned. In a brilliant move, the Ukrainian government untapped the power of crypto to convert words of support into resources for their defense.

Crypto Goes to War

For the first time in history of war, crypto is at the forefront from an economic standpoint.

Here are some highlights from so far:

On February 24, Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX announced that the platform gifted $25 to each of their users in Ukraine

On February 26, the official Ukraine account on Twitter posted this tweet calling for support in Bitcoin, Ethereum and USDT. As of this writing, there have over 209K likes and 68K retweets.

Russian-Canadian Ethereum co-founder Vitalkin Buterin (who is a Russian citizen) declared his support for Ukraine on Twitter, and has been active in forwarding tweets about how to support Ukraine financially. He even took to the use of four-letter words against Russia Times Editor-in-Chief’s comments.

In response to the original tweet from the Ukrainian government, Polkadot Founder, Gavin Wood, announced if they accepted $DOT, he would donate $5 million to their effort. They did, and he made good on his promise, donating around $5.7 million.

On March 2, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, Mykhailo Fedorov, even announced opening a Dogecoin wallet, directly appealing to the meme coin’s supporters while taking a dig at the Russian Ruble:

Dogecoin co-founder Billy Markus voiced his support and donated as well. After the first morning, 296,300 $DOGE (around $40,000) has been donated by 397 wallets to the Ukrainians cause

Time reported that in total, over $30 million had been raised in support of Ukraine using crypto as of March 1, 2022.

On March 2, Nexo Finance pledged to match 100% of all customer donations from Nexo wallets and 200% of all Nexo employee donations to Ukraine’s official Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, and Polkadot cryptocurrency addresses.

On March 2, UniSwap Labs announced it had updated its interface allowing individuals to donate to the Ukrainian government.

A Ukraine DAO

A Ukraine DAO was formed. According to their Twitter handle, their stated purpose is: 

“Using the power of web3 tech and community to raise funds for Ukrainian organisations that are helping those suffering from the war in Ukraine.”

They have provided multiple means of contribution.

One of their methods of raising funds was the auctioning off of a Ukrainian flag NFT. The auction was completed in the early morning hours of March 2, and resulted in a 2,070 ETH sale. Which is over $6 million USD as of this writing. 

The Brutal War

There are no mincing words, war is brutal and true leaders have zero business invading other countries. This war is particularly brutal. Sanctions on Russia are devastating for their economy, and the Russian army’s siege of the Ukraine continues to increase in intensity. 

Putin has even made threats about nuclear weapons. It is my sincerest hope that this war will end as swiftly as possible, with as little human misery as possible.

Cryptocurrency is a tool, like any other currency. It can be used for good or evil.

 

If you enjoyed this article, make sure to subscribe.

 


The author sourced much of the information provided here from a wide array of available media sources as well as individual Twitter accounts. There have been a number of videos being spread on social media that are from the wrong time and place and attributed to this conflict, one even from video game footage. The author did his best to only source data which appears to be factual.

This content is for news and educational purposes only. It does not constitute trading advice. Past performance does not indicate future results. Do not invest more than you can afford to lose. The author of this article may hold assets mentioned in the piece.

Author

Alexandre Lores is a personal finance writer from Tampa Bay, Florida, with the goal to help one million people achieve financial freedom. He has spent over five years studying markets and economics, finding Bitcoin in 2017 and never turning back. He frequently appears on TV and in online news articles and is a regular Twitter spaces host.

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