Cryptocurrency is a rescue tool for raising funds for Ukrainians

Mikhailo Fedorov was only 28 years old when he was appointed head of Ukraine’s newly created Ministry of Digital Transformation in 2019, where he was tasked with leading the country’s paperless revolution.

According to a special report in The Independent, Fedorov did not know that the Russian occupation of Ukraine, less than three years after taking office, would plunge the country into chaos and jeopardize the banking system, prompting the minister to resign. new call for Instant legalization in cryptocurrency.

Since then, more than $ 100 million in cryptocurrency has accumulated, according to the ministry statement, so what was once an illegal currency is now a vital asset in Ukraine’s resistance to Russian occupation.

What started as an invitation on social media for cryptocurrency donations quickly became a clean and easy-to-use website with an engaging hashtag and slogan under the heading “Help Ukraine, do not leave us alone with the enemy” and features links to be sent. different currencies, or transfer traditional money to a collection account Donations to the country’s central bank.

Donations for government cryptocurrency have flowed through several cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether and even the often mocked Dogecoin.

London-based blockchain analytics provider Elliptic said the donations included a single $ 1.86 million transaction that appeared to come from revenue from the sale of NFT (an unchanging token).

A non-interchangeable token (NFT) is a unique and irreplaceable unit of data stored in a digital record (blockchain), and NFTs can be used to represent easily reproducible items such as images, video, audio and genres. other digital files as unique. items (similar to a COA). Use Blockchain technology to create a confirmed and public proof of ownership. Copying the original file is not limited to the NFT owner, and can be copied and shared just like any other file, and these tokens are distinct from other cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, that cannot be replaced.

But the Elliptic group warned it had identified fraudulent crypto-currency hoardings, noting that some hackers and fraudsters could take advantage of the situation and “deceive people who want to donate to Ukraine”.

But that has not stopped the inflow of money. According to the Ministry of Digital Transformation, donations in cryptocurrencies have contributed to the support of humanitarian aid programs and the armed forces of Ukraine.

Some of the donations will remain digital, while others will be converted into (traditional) money and transferred to the National Bank of Ukraine, according to the ministry.

“Any helmet, jacket and night-vision equipment saves the lives of Ukrainian soldiers,” Fedorov, who is also deputy prime minister, explained on the ministry’s website, adding that “we must continue to support our defenders.” A big thank you to everyone in the crypto community for their support of Ukraine. “

Less than six months ago, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vetoed a law legalizing cryptocurrencies approved by parliament, arguing that setting up a new government agency for cryptocurrencies would be too costly.

But difficult times require drastic measures. On March 16, Deputy Minister for Digital Transformation Alex Bornyakov announced that Zelensky had signed legislation on digital assets.

“Encryption is now legal in Ukraine,” Bornakov said in a Twitter post. “Thank you President for your support. We believe that the cryptocurrency industry offers new economic opportunities and we will do our best to achieve a bright new future as soon as possible.”

But it is not just the country that will benefit from the move to cryptocurrency, Ukrainians who have sought alternative banking systems, especially during the war, are likely to welcome the legalization of digital money.

“During war situations like the one in Ukraine, banking services will be disrupted and will not function as usual,” said Abdul Rahman Babir, founder of Cordcoin, a cryptocurrency exchange in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.

Babir himself witnessed the need for cryptocurrencies throughout Iraq and Kurdistan when the terrorist organization ISIS took control of large areas of Iraq in 2014, pushing the country to war with the participation of an international coalition to eradicate the extremist group.

He told The Independent: “A lot of people with money in the banks had problems because they could not withdraw the money.”

According to Baber, “It has become quite clear that many people can not trust their money to banks and prefer fiat coins, for the fact that they are easily stored on their phones, making them a reliable way to preserve value. materials better than if you put it in a bank account that you do not control. ” .

However, the Governor of the Central Bank of Ukraine Kirillo Shevchenko assured the citizens of his country earlier this month during an official statement that the country’s banking and financial systems are still functioning.

The central bank, he said, “is doing everything necessary to guarantee the continuity of cash and cashless payments and the smooth functioning of the state banking system under martial law.”

For the cryptocurrency community in Ukraine, the best way to move the economy forward is digital, and if implemented correctly it will take a long time after the war with Russia is over.

“When we win the war, we will rebuild Ukraine using blockchain technology, cryptography has helped us all,” the founder of the Ukrainian Kona crypto exchange, Michael Chobanyan, told AFP.

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