Ukraine has been able to raise donations for its military defense against Russia more quickly through crypto assets than the traditional banking systems, said Alex Bornyakov, Ukraine’s deputy minister of Digital Transformation, in an online forum on Monday.
Already nearly $60 million has been raised for the Ukrainian government and a non-government organization that supports its military through more than 118,000 crypto asset donations since Russia laid siege to Kyiv 12 days ago, according to compliance company Elliptic.
The Ukrainian government has bought more than 400,000 military rations, thousands of bulletproof vests and others defense provisions through crowdfunding, some of it raised through crypto, Bornyakov said on Monday.
He hopes to solicit more, with a goal of reaching $100 million this week through the Crypto Fund of Ukraine.
“Our response has to be very quick and we can’t afford [the time it takes] with regular banking system for payments to go through in two, three days. We needed a tool to help our military, help our army, help people much more quickly,” Bornyakov said in a Twitter Spaces discussion on Monday.
“With crypto, we can do those transactions in five minutes, in 10 minutes and you don’t have to get those approval through banks,” Bornyakov said in the roundtable discussion.
Bornyakov also said Ukraine was able to raise donations through crypto quickly because of the country’s high adoption rate of digital assets. Ukraine ranked fourth in the 2021 global crypto adoption index by blockchain data platform Chainalysis. The country’s parliament passed a law that legalized cryptocurrency in September.
“We have such a powerful and widespread blockchain community that basically helped us,” Bornyakov said.
Ukraine earlier planned to reward donors with an “airdrop” of digital assets, but later canceled the plan. Airdrops usually involve crypto projects giving out free tokens to attract users.
As the U.S. and its allies aim to cripple Russia’s economy through sanctions for invading Ukraine, there also has been some speculation around whether Moscow could gain leeway through cryptocurrencies.
Read: Can Russia use cryptocurrencies to evade Western sanctions? Likely, to some extent, but it’s ‘very hard to do at scale,’ says one analyst
Bitcoin is trading at around $38,388, up 0.02% over the past 24 hours, according to CoinDesk data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
entered correction territory for the first time in 2 years on Monday and the Nasdaq Composite
skid into bear-market territory.
Also read: Bitcoin drops to lowest level in a week, as the Dow heads for first correction since 2020
Read more: Dow skids nearly 800 points to end in correction territory as oil spikes and Russia’s war in Ukraine deepens