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Crypto Donations To Ukraine Top $52 Million



The Ukraine government and organizations supporting its fight against a Russia invasion have amassed more than $52 million in cryptocurrency donations—and already deployed at least $14 million—amid an influx of support as the country starts accepting a wider array of tokens and digital assets, including proceeds from the sale of one of the most expensive non-fungible tokens in history.

Wallet addresses linked to the Ukrainian government and nongovernmental organizations supporting its military have received nearly 60,000 donations since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine early Thursday, including an all-time high of more than 10,000 on Wednesday morning, according to blockchain analytics firm Merkle Science.

The donations include $6.5 million in proceeds from a Ukrainian flag NFT auctioned off Wednesday by the Ethereum-based group Ukraine DAO—marking the tenth most expensive NFT ever sold, according to Tom Robinson, chief scientist at blockchain analytics company Elliptic.

As of 12 p.m., wallet addresses directly linked to the Ukrainian government have received about $34 million in bitcoin, ether, tron and polkadot, including $5.8 million from Polkadot founder Gavin Wood and a highly sought-after CryptoPunk NFT worth over $200,000, Elliptic notes; the government also started accepting dogecoin Wednesday morning.

On Twitter Wednesday morning, Ukraine’s Kuna Exchange founder Michael Chobanian, whose firm has been helping the country manage the cryptocurrency received, noted about $14 million worth of the donations had already been used, with a majority of spending happening exclusively in cryptocurrency transactions.

In an interview with CoinDesk on Tuesday, Chobanian said funds have gone to Ukraine’s military and special forces to help purchase equipment, food and gas, but he stopped short of providing additional specifics “due to a level of secrecy involved.”

He also said ether and bitcoin—which have represented about 69% of donations, per Merkle Science—were his “preferred” method for spending, given their ease of convertibility.

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