Donations in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum are pouring into Ukraine as the war with Russia enters its second week.
Since Moscow invaded on February 24, more than 102,000 crypto asset donations, totaling $54.7m, have gone to the Ukrainian government and Come Back Alive, a non-government organisation providing support to the military, according to new data from blockchain analytics firm, Elliptic.
According to CNBC, the raise includes a single donation of $5.8m from Gavin Wood, the founder of a lesser-known cryptocurrency called polkadot.
Donations have picked up this week, with around 72,000 of these donations coming in the past two days. Thus far, the contributions consist of $18.2m in ether, $17.2m in bitcoin and $9.5m in a mix of United States dollar-pegged stablecoins, including an anonymous donation of $1m in tether, a controversial token designed to be pegged to the US dollar.
Accepting donations in crypto is new for the Ukrainian government. Up until Saturday, all donations had to travel via traditional payment channels, but on Feb. 26, the government decided to get creative.
Twitter accounts belonging to the Ukrainian government began to solicit cryptoasset donations for the first time. The move came after the country’s central bank cracked down on digital money transfers in connection with a nationwide declaration of martial law.
Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin have become more popular since they allow users to bypass financial institutions that might block payments to Ukraine.