According to data from Elliptic, Bitcoin donations have increased exponentially in Ukraine due to tensions with Russia that could result in war.
Ukraine, massive increase in Bitcoin donations for NGOs.
According to Elliptic data, hundreds of cryptocurrency donations to NGOs have been recorded in recent months, amounting to +900% compared to the previous year. In total, NGOs have already raised more than $500,000, whereas in 2020 and 2019 these BTC donations were minimal.
Elliptic also noted which associations are receiving Bitcoin.
Come Back Alive
This paramilitary organization provides military equipment, training, and medical devices. It received $200,000 in Bitcoin in 2021.
Ukrainian Cyber Alliance
This group acts against Russia through hacking attacks, and unlike other groups , it is funded only with cryptocurrencies. It received about $100,000 in 2021 in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and stablecoins.
This controversial group developed a facial recognition system to detect militants, mercenaries and war criminals. PayPal closed its account, but the association was able to count on hundreds of Bitcoin donations totaling $268,000.
The role of non-governmental organizations in the Russia-Ukraine crisis
These associations are extremely supportive of the Ukrainian government and army. As it turns out, these provide technical but also practical support with medical and military supplies.
It is an indirect response to pro-Russian separatist activists, who already in previous conflicts involving Russia and Ukraine had financed themselves through cryptocurrencies.
The peculiar thing is that usually cryptocurrencies are used by non-governmental organizations to evade the disruption they may suffer if they are hostile to the government. Rebel organizations can be arbitrarily shut down from traditional funding channels, such as bank accounts. The only thing left to do is to resort to the decentralization of cryptocurrencies.
But this is not the case for NGOs in Ukraine, which are close to the government and not hostile. After all, the government is not at all hostile to cryptocurrencies, on the contrary, it dreams of becoming a crypto hub.
How the crisis is evolving
In these days, diplomacy around the world is working to prevent the tension from escalating into conflict. One of the reasons of contention is the entry of Ukraine into NATO. Russia does not want on its borders countries belonging to the Atlantic organization. Russian President Putin has been very clear in saying that in such an eventuality Europe itself risks war. French President Macron, just back from a meeting with his Russian counterpart, confirmed that all efforts for a mediation are underway.
By contrast, US President Biden has thrown gasoline on the fire on the sidelines of the meeting with German Chancellor Scholz. While saying that all diplomatic efforts are underway, he made it known that in case of a Russian invasion, the US will react in defense of Europe.
In short, the tension is sky-high, despite the efforts of diplomacy around the world.