According to Alex Bornyakov, Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation, Ukraine has invested $15 million on military equipment using crypto donations. These include bulletproof vests, food, bandages, and night-vision equipment not even two days into Russia’s incursion into Ukraine.
While some vendors accepted cryptocurrency, others only took euros or dollars, requiring the transfer of specific crypto holdings into these fiat currencies.
Ukraine Spends $15 Million Crypto Donations on Military Equipment
According to Alex Bornyakov, Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation, the country has invested $15 million of its crypto donations for military equipment on Friday.
Bornyakov said Friday in a Zoom interview from an unidentified location inside Ukraine that the Ukrainian government expects to double the $50 million in cryptocurrency donations so far in the next two or three days. The majority of the donations have been made in Bitcoin and Ether.
Within two days after Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine, the 250-person ministry was able to identify suppliers in Europe and the United States for everything from vests to food packages to bandages and night-vision gadgets for the army, according to Bornyakov.
Bornyakov stated in a Zoom interview with Bloomberg that the administration aims to double the number of cryptocurrency donations collected so far (56.8 million) in the following days. Majorly the donations were made in Bitcoin and Ether.
On the other hand, smaller quantities came in the form of stablecoin Tether, Polkadot ($5.8M), Solana, and even NFTs, including one CryptoPunk valued over $200K the Julian Assange NFTs produced by interdisciplinary artist Pak for $1.86M.
According to the minister, “most donations come from people,” but some businesses are also pitching in.
Donations in Cryptocurrency Continue to Come in Ukraine
Among the firms that have made donations is Aid for Ukraine, a group that aims to convert cryptocurrency into US dollars for use in Ukraine. The fund’s cryptocurrency will be converted to US dollars and deposited with Ukraine’s central bank.
The fund was created by Anatoly Yakovenko, co-founder of Solana, and Sergey Vasylchuk, CEO of cryptocurrency staking company Everstake. Vasylchuk previously collaborated with the Ukrainian government to develop a Central Bank Digital Currency.
Birnyakob studied Public Administration at Columbia University and founded many enterprises, including an ad-technology provider. Even while the Russian offensive continues, the ministry is strengthening the country’s information technology infrastructure to ensure government activity continues. It is also continuing its task of collecting and using cryptocurrency donations.
Ministry Collaborates With Firms to Create NFT Collection
Bornyakov stated that the ministry had hired two businesses to build an NFT collection, which may be ready in less than two weeks to earn revenue for Ukraine’s ongoing defense. It is unclear whether or not the NFTs will be limited, nor how they will appear.
The ministry has no plans to sell CryptoPunk #5364, which depicts a person wearing a blue bandana and smoking a cigarette, or any of the other NFTs that have been given to it. “We are going to work with NFTs a little bit later, focused on things we can deal with right now. There’s no time to figure out how to convert them.”
The CryptoPunk was last sold at $43,000 in 2021. The ministry hasn’t used it because selling it hasn’t been simple.