Web3 is Making it Easier to Back Ukrainian Resistance by@kurtivy

Web3 is Making it Easier to Back Ukrainian Resistance

Cryptocurrency is helping Ukrainian refugees in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Over 3.2 million Ukrainians have fled the country, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency. The situation has made it difficult for Ukrainians to access financial services due to the economic turmoil caused by the invasion’s collateral damage. Official Ukrainian organizations have also received immense support via cryptocurrencies.
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Kurt Ivy

Writer for SHOPX/Gamerse, contributor to Entrepreneur. marketing advisor for Altar, head of content at Crypto PR Labs

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As the Russian invasion of Ukraine grinds on, the United Nations Refugee Agency reported that over 3.2 million Ukrainians had fled the country. While many hoped that international sanctions and the strong resistance presented by the Ukrainian army would deter Putin from continuing the invasion, everything indicates the situation will worsen.

Web3 tech is promising to change the internet as we know it. It powers the instant, transparent transfer of value and offers censorship-proof social media platforms.

The technology is still in the early stages of development, but it is already helping improve the lives of many, especially Ukrainian refugees.

Cryptocurrency is Helping Ukrainian Charities

People around the world have set their eyes on the developing conflict, wondering how they can help. Unfortunately, the situation has made it difficult for Ukrainians to access financial services due to the economic turmoil caused by the invasion’s collateral damage.

This has resulted in crypto becoming a popular tool not only among Ukrainians but also among those looking to aid them.

Some crypto projects with real traction and boots on the ground include #WithUkraine, a project looking for unique ways to raise funds for evacuation as well as providing supplies and helping to rebuild.

With the help of technology from Altar, they built a museum in the metaverse documenting the crimes committed and offering a safe space for people all over the world to speak freely and without the threat of violence. The grassroots community has members deep within the country and abroad doing their best to help and is even documenting their efforts.

Another is Ukraine MKMRE, which means “medical kits and meals ready to eat.” The intention here is clear: their team in Ukraine and Poland is currently using their network to purchase and distribute desperately needed essentials, as well as evacuation and re-housing efforts.

The team includes former astronaut Terry Verts, investor Tim Draper, and once-refugee Sophia Mahfooz who is now dedicating her time to correcting the injustices she herself faced.

Official Ukrainian organizations, like the country’s military forces, have also received immense support via cryptocurrencies. According to Elliptic, the Ukrainian military would have raised over $63 billion by March 11th. This was achieved through more than 120,000 donations, showing the advantages of crypto over other types of assets when it comes to international donations.

Developing Better Platforms for NGOs

In addition to the censorship-resistant traits of web3, the technology would also offer added security at a time when Russia is perfecting cyberwarfare. These promises have renewed interest in web3 development from investors and developers in the west.

Web3 development continues to be a small niche, and there is a lot of room to grow. Several projects such as Ankr are working on making it easier by providing the necessary infrastructure and tools. The use of web3 projects would also come with the added benefit of native crypto capabilities, making crypto donations easier and safer to implement.

Take Tech To The Rescue (TTTR), an ONG with the mission to help other NGOs develop software solutions that meet their needs, as an example. By bringing developers willing to help pro-bono or low-bono, the organization has now launched its #TechForUkraine campaign.

The campaign has set multiple goals designed to help ONGs operate more efficiently and securely. These goals include improving cybersecurity and resource distribution, making IT services redundant, developing safe messaging solutions, decentralizing resource management, and implementing scalable databases, all of which are synonymous with web3 and blockchain technology.

Patching Legacy Payment Systems

Both Russian and Ukrainian citizens have suffered economic hardships as a result of this conflict, with traditional financial systems failing to fulfill their needs at a critical time. While in the case of Ukraine, this is related to the turmoil caused by the invasion, Russian citizens who have nothing to do with their government’s decisions have also been affected.

Ukrainian startups and companies have been forced to change their economic models to adjust to the effects of the war, making it difficult for them to operate. The situation has pushed the Ukrainian government to pass legislation that would make cryptocurrency legal in the country back on March 16th.

In an interview with TechCrunch, Ukraine’s vice prime minister and minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov said:

“The Parliament has adopted a law on virtual assets. I think the president is about to sign it into law in a matter of days. So we strive to be as friendly to virtual assets as possible. And we are continuing this effort during wartime as well.”

This new law comes at a time when not only crypto donations are critical but also crypto payments. While crypto payments have become increasingly popular in the United States, Ukraine lacked such development until now.

Now that the law is signed, crypto payment processors like CoinsPaid, Bitpay, and Coinbase Commerce can more easily offer a solution to the needs of Ukrainian businesses at a critical time.

With Ukraine employees fleeing the country as companies seek to protect their workforce, cryptocurrency has been seen as the easiest way to offer their employees financial assistance. In addition to this, such payment processors could also allow accounting departments to easily implement payroll solutions at a moment when employees need stability more than ever.

The situation in Ukraine is more than uncertain at this time, but Web3 and crypto are proving a reliable way to prepare for what is happening now and what may come. With some luck, it will be enough to tip the balance of power to openness and freedom.

Web3 as a Means to Fighting Censorship

Crypto has certainly played and will continue to play an important role in the future of the conflict, and the blockchain ecosystem as a whole is also following through. Web3 developers, for example, have leveraged the benefits of decentralized technologies like IPFS to facilitate access to information both in Russia and Ukraine.

As part of its propaganda and disinformation efforts, the Kremlin has passed legislation that would prevent journalists and companies from referring to the invasion of Ukraine as such, forcing media outlets to leave or stop operations in the country. The government has also cracked on platforms like Facebook and Instagram to help spread alleged fake news.

This kind of censorship is nothing new in Russia, but the extent of these efforts has surprised people around the world. Technologies like Onion browsing and VPN have long been popular in countries like Russia and China but they are far from accessible to non-tech savvy people. Web3 solutions promise to offer a more reliable and easy way to bypass or stop censorship altogether.

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by Kurt Ivy @kurtivy.Writer for SHOPX/Gamerse, contributor to Entrepreneur. marketing advisor for Altar, head of content at Crypto PR Labs
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