What Crypto and Rap Have to Do with the War in Ukraineby@viceasytiger
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What Crypto and Rap Have to Do with the War in Ukraine

by Vik BogdanovMay 30th, 2022
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Support Ukraine and peace all over the world and help avoid a Russia-caused humanitarian crisis in Europe by making crypto donations through Aid For Ukraine.

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As the war in Ukraine unfolded, cryptocurrency became one of the most significant and effective channels of funding the country’s humanitarian and military needs. Because Ukraine’s foreign exchange market was almost paralyzed during the first month of the unprovoked invasion, purchasing and delivering military equipment, clothes, food, and other essentials fast to Ukrainian cities became a huge challenge.

The need for crypto legalization came as an immediate response to many individuals and businesses from within and outside Ukraine willing to contribute to the nation’s victory.

As long queues built up outside cashpoints and supermarkets in Kyiv, Ukraine’s Digital Transformation (DT) Ministry knew they had to move fast. On the second day of the invasion, DT Minister Mykhailo Fedorov instructed his deputy Alex Bornyakov to set up official government wallets that could accept payments in cryptocurrency.

“Our banks were limited, there were restrictions on our use of fiat currencies, and we were rapidly running out of supplies,” Bornyakov said to the Financial Times. “Even if you manage to pay in fiat, a wire transfer takes a few days to reach the recipient. In the crypto world, it takes minutes.”

To facilitate and simplify the collection of crypto donations and speed up the purchasing and delivery processes in wartime, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a Virtual Assets Bill into Law on March 15, 2022. This Law is supposed to legalize the circulation of cryptocurrencies in Ukraine, the adoption of which is already one of the highest in the world. As per Chainalysis, Ukraine ranks fourth globally in the 2021 Cryptocurrency Index.

Before Russia’s invasion, over 5.5 million people, or 12.7% of Ukraine’s total population, owned crypto. According to CoinDesk, “Ukraine is the birthplace to teams that founded crypto startups Bitfury, Hacken, and Propy, not to mention numerous crypto developers.”

The Virtual Assets Law allowed Ukrainian and foreign governments, corporations, charitable and public organizations, celebrities, entrepreneurs, and other “good Samaritans” to put forward various initiatives to help Ukraine through digital assets. As of the beginning of May, Ukraine has received over $100 million worth of donations in crypto, according to CryptoPotato.

One of such initiatives is Aid For Ukraine. It’s a joint effort of Everstake, Ukraine’s biggest decentralized staking provider in the blockchain industry, crypto exchanges Kuna and FTX, and Ukraine’s Ministry of DT. Since its launch, Aid For Ukraine has raised over $60 million worth of different cryptocurrencies and NFTs.

To empower their calls to action and inspire the global crypto community, Everstake and its co-founders Sergey Vasylchuk and Yev Zaifert have made crypto donations to Ukraine in the aggregate amount of $10 million.

“Peace comes at a price, but the first wave of donations has subsided. Cryptocurrencies are free from red-tape hurdles, which makes them the most efficient way to provide fast help. Every crypto contribution, no matter big or small, is another nail in the coffin of totalitarianism. Helping Ukraine fight off the invasion means helping us save the free world from enslavement,” Sergey Vasylchuk, CEO and Co-founder of Everstake

According to Sergey Vasylchuk, the initiative has already spent over $45 million onfirst-aid kitsration packsbulletproof vests, and other procurements. Donations are sent directly for procurement through volunteer organizations and various ministries, as well as to the dedicated account with the National Bank of Ukraine. The remaining funds and new donations will be spent in the same vein.

“We constantly receive and process requests and create new initiatives, help volunteers and independent organizations,” Sergey added.

To keep momentum and ensure a sustainable flow of crypto donations while the world is getting “weary” of russian-Ukrainian war, Everstake and the Kyiv-based creative agency

Bickerstaff.385 created a promo video featuring Ukraine’s Digital Transformation Minister asking for more crypto donations in an extraordinary way – through rap.

“People rarely think about peace as an investment. But if there is no peace, there will be no opportunity to pump your Lamborghini or get an alpaca farm. It's a very unusual communication campaign, so we believe it will stand out and attract more crypto donations,” Ilia Anufreinko, Creative Director of Bickerstaff.734.

In addition to accepting crypto, Aid For Ukraine also accepts NFT donations. As of now, NFTs account for nearly 10% of all the funds raised in crypto. “This includes a CryptoPunk and Ukraine DAO’s flag worth $6.75 million,” Sergey added.

At the moment, Aid For Ukraine supports several patriotic NFT collections including HelpUA, Ukrainian Spirit, MetaHistory, Soul of Ukraine, and others.

According to its first spending report, Aid For Ukraine was spending $626 every minute in the first 50 days of the war.

Suffering from russia’s unprovoked aggression and invasion for more than 90 days already, Ukraine is losing its best citizens on the battlefield and having its cities reduced to rubble by Russian missiles. Each donation can make a difference and help avoid a global humanitarian disaster.

Invest in peace, Bro!” Support Ukraine with crypto!