Yarema Dukh, a communications strategist who helped create Ukraine’s official Twitter account in 2016, confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the tweet and wallet were a legitimate government plan. He said he believed the cryptocurrency funds would go to “exterminate as many Russian occupiers as possible,” but was unsure of the government’s exact spending plans.
Initially, some people, including Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, were concerned that the tweet was from scammers who had hacked into the account. After hearing the Deputy Prime Minister, Buterin tweeted that he had received confirmation, but encouraged people to always be careful when sending cryptocurrency donations.
So far, according to the ledger, the largest donation of 100 ether (about $278,000) has come from Deepak Thapliyal, the CEO of Chain.com, a blockchain technology company. “When I realized the Ukrainian government had asked for donations in the form of crypto, I felt compelled to do my part to help,” Thapiyal told BuzzFeed News. “Crypto donations are borderless and near-instantaneous, so hopefully the government there can tap into them ASAP to help those in need.”
NGOs and volunteer groups in Ukraine are used to accepting bitcoin. The volunteer group Come Back Alive, which supplies the Ukrainian army, has asked for donations in cryptocurrency since 2018, according to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic. In a report, Elliptic said that the government and NGOs have received $11 million in cryptocurrency donations since the invasion started Thursday.
The nation is especially ready to handle cryptocurrency donations. This fall, he spent a law to legalize and regulate bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, making it one of the few countries to embrace cryptocurrency. Ukraine’s low taxes and large pool of tech talent have made it a cryptocurrency hub.