Ukrainian government raises over $10 million in cryptocurrency donations to help war effort

The Ukrainian government has raised over $10 million in cryptocurrency donations in order to help with the war effort against Russia.

The unlikely source of funding came from a tweet from the official Ukrainian government account on Twitter posting the addresses for two crypto wallets, one accepting just Bitcoin and the other taking both Ethereum and Tether, the latter of which tracks the value of the US dollar.

By Sunday, the two wallets had received $10.2 million worth of cryptocurrency, according to a study conducted by blockchain analysts firm Elliptic.

The crypto coins come on top of the millions in digital currency donated to nongovernmental organisations supporting the Ukrainian military in its defence against Russian forces.

Around $1.86 million of the funds donated to Ukraine’s government was generated through the auction of a non-fungible token (NFT) which was initially intended to be sold to raise funds for the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Elliptic claimed.

The total amount of crypto donations given to the Ukrainian government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) supporting the military has reached $16.7 million, Elliptic has said.

READ MORE: Cryptocurrency prices plunge after Russia invades Ukraine

“Cryptoassets such as Bitcoin have emerged as an important alternative crowdfunding method,” Elliptic chief scientist Tom Robinson wrote in a blog post on Sunday.

“They allow quick, cross-border donations, which bypass financial institutions that might be blocking payments to these groups.”

Initially, the Ukrainian military had suggested that it was not accepting funds in digital currencies, releasing a statement on the government website saying: “national legislation does not allow the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine to use other payment systems (‘Webmoney,’ ‘Bitcoin,’ PayPal,′ etc.).”

However it appears that in light of the brutal military action taken by Russia, the Ukrainian military has since relaxed the stance.

Ukrainian minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov on Sunday called on major crypto exchanges to block payments to Russian users.

“It’s crucial to freeze not only the addresses linked to Russian and Belarusian politicians but also to sabotage ordinary users,” Fedorov tweeted.

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