Cryptocurrency has captured people’s attention due to its unique anonymity and easy global access. With these qualities, crypto has once again made history, coming to the help of the Ukrainian people during the travesty of the Russian invasion to help fund their defense.
With the decentralized aspect of digital currencies, these funds are not managed or monitored by any banking organization, politics, or third-party involvement. This has resulted in cheaper fees, faster transaction results, and of course, easy access for this war-torn country in need of easy access to funds.
In early February, it appeared the war was imminent with a military budget of $6 billion and Russian troops camping on the border, Ukraine knew they needed help, and resorting to the anonymity and accessibility of Bitcoin and other altcoins proved to be helpful.
Before the commencement of the war, Ukraine kicked it up a gear and prepared with the help of crowdfunding, which saw more than $570,000 in crypto-asset funding donated in its initial stages.
Still desperate for more assistance, Ukraine set up a site-directed to funding military equipment. With the advantages of Bitcoin, sponsors can now bypass financial institutions that block payments due to sanctions and country limitations.
This GoFundMe page has since been taken down but was able to raise a staggering $4 million as of Friday the 25th of February, just five days after the invasion started. Since then, Ukraine has raised a further $52 million, spanning multiple crypto-assets such as Bitcoin, Ether, Polkadot, Solana, Dogecoin, Tether, and more. These donations contributed to humanitarian aid such as food, uniforms, and bullet-proof vests.
With over 100,000 donations, it’s clear that cryptocurrency provides a new opportunity for alliances to provide support to countries in need.
We all know that funding plays a huge role in the outcome of the war, and with Russia having a far larger budget than that of Ukraine, it goes without saying that a new financial alternative needed to be looked at.
When it comes to crypto, it could be seen as a double edge sword. Although it opens the doors to decentralized and uninfluenced income, it also breeds a level of inclusivity that could negatively affect the sanctions implemented by other countries to slow down the invasion of Ukraine.
For example, Ukraine has used the digital coin options for its reputation of easy-to-move money, allowing for supporters to transfer millions of dollars across boards with no time wanted. While on the other hand, this borderless form of fiance has collided with international sanctions imposed on Russia for the European conflict.
Then, there is also the other point of view of, should civilians have the opportunity to fuel a war, whatsoever, no matter which side they support is being provided to?
Many have raised the question of whether crypto companies, like exchange sites and wallets, should step away from the idea of complete anonymity during the fog of war and follow in the steps of the government globally, supporting sanctions.
In this day and age, it’s hard to know how much of the anti-authority stance is still upheld by crypto and how much is a marketing ploy. Major crypto exchanges like Coinbase and Binance have made their move, responding that they will comply with mandates to sanctioned individuals but will not apply a blanket ban to all Russians.
As the war wages on between Ukraine and Russia, it’s clear that cryptocurrency has been used as a means of finance. With both positive and negative possibilities to the crypto activities, the Bitcoin price has prospered, showing a clear trend in the modern war world. This sudden spike in the Bitcoin price could be attributed to Russians making a move from fiat to crypto since the sanctions faced by the country kicked in last week due to an unprovoked war.
Although cryptocurrency transactions remain a small percentage of the donations Ukraine has received, and a minority of Russians are utilizing crypto as a way to escape sanctions, it can still be said that technology remains the driving force in the advancement of the world.
Whether it be entertainment or war, the growth of technology like cryptocurrencies and NFTs leads to a fascinating future that could result in centralized wealth being demolished.
No matter how we look at things, technology is the driving force of change in this day and age. With cryptocurrency delivering a new approach to finance, it has become the beacon of change in the stability of power, offering new ways to gain the upper hand. Within the recent war between Ukraine and Russia, cryptocurrency has remained a controversial factor, stimulating conversation around its durability.
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