Bitcoin donations keep the Ukrainian army going
Geopolitical tensions between Ukraine and Russia have become quite heated in the last few months. According to experts, there is still a chance that Russia will invade with all the consequences that entails. However, on the Ukrainian side, help is coming from an unexpected source. Large amounts of bitcoin (BTC) appear to be donated to NGOs that in turn support Ukraine’s military.
According to a report from blockchain analytics firm Elliptic , volunteer groups and NGOs in the country are being inundated with donations in the form of bitcoin. Certainly hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bitcoin are donated to these organizations.
These organizations then use this money to support, among others, the Ukrainian armed forces. Military equipment, medical supplies, even drones, are funded in this way. It even appears that a facial recognition app is being developed that should recognize whether a particular person is a Russian spy.
According to a leading scientist at Elliptic, it can be argued that in this way a war is ‘crowdfunded’.
“Cryptocurrency is increasingly being used to crowdfund war, with the tacit approval of governments. […] Cryptocurrency is particularly suitable for international fundraising because it does not adhere to national borders and is censorship resistant – there is no central authority that can block transactions, for example in response to sanctions,”
Problematic BTC money flows?
Bitcoin donations are not only received on the side of Ukraine. The pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have also been receiving financial support in the form of cryptocurrencies for years .
Obviously, the extent to which money can be donated to such organizations without any problems raises important questions. It is impossible to exclude the possibility that terrorist movements, for example, are financially supported in this way. For governments and regulators, this is in any case one of the biggest dangers of the crypto industry. Whether this is correct is of course doubtful, because in practice it seems to occur only rarely.