Ukrainians crowdfund alleged Russian 'war' via bitcoin: Analyst
More than half a million dollars in bitcoin donations have been raised by Ukrainian groups.
As tensions between Ukraine and Russia mount, amid US and NATO pressures and military buildup in Eastern Europe, Ukrainian paramilitary groups have recently started to fund themselves with bitcoin donations, according to a Tuesday analysis published by blockchain analytics firm Elliptic.
“These groups are funded by private donors, who have used bank wires and payment apps to donate millions of dollars,” the report says.
“Bitcoin BTCUSD, -2.14% has also emerged as an important alternative funding method, allowing international donors to bypass financial institutions that are blocking payments to these groups.”
Elliptic identified a series of cryptocurrency wallets the Ukrainian volunteer groups use, with a total of $570,000 in bitcoin donations received since the start of the conflict, with the vast majority of the donations being made in 2021.
Come Back Alive is one of the groups that have accepted bitcoin donations, knowing that the organization donates military equipment to Ukrainian fighters, the Ukrainian Cyber Alliance, which Time Magazine described as “online shock troops in Ukraine’s conflict with Russia,” and the Kiev-based organization Myrtvorets Center.
The report added that crypto donations still represent a small portion of donations received on both sides of the conflict but that “cryptocurrency has proved to be a robust and increasingly popular alternative.”
“Some of the Ukrainian volunteer groups and NGOs accepting crypto donations have very close links to the Ukrainian government,” the report concluded.