Crypto Entrepreneurs Mobilize Resources to Support Resistance

Crypto-savvy entrepreneurs with ties to Ukraine have been mobilizing their skills and networks to support the country’s resistance to the Russian invasion.

One example is Kharkiv-native Illia Polosukhin, who helped create a widely-used blockchain after developing AI expertise in Silicon Valley. He is now using his resources to contribute to relief efforts and help raise money and awareness.

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He helped create Unchain with other crypto entrepreneurs, raising over $3m in crypto donations for food, medicine, and evacuation efforts so far.

Efforts by the Ukrainian government have raised $50m in crypto donations. From his base in Portugal, Polosukhin has also established a temporary hub for Ukrainian blockchain developers to live and work, after evacuating 50 people from eastern Ukraine so far.

Many other crypto companies with operations in Ukraine have also been evacuating staff and organizing humanitarian relief efforts. While many have drawn on their own resources to fund these efforts, others have managed to leverage their venture capital connections.

“There’s actually a really big crypto community that has pretty much fully mobilized to support people right now in Ukraine,” Polosukhin said. Many have also had to deal with employees who left to fight on the front lines. 

Staff are volunteering on the front line

Sergey Vasylchuk, Everstake Founder and CEO, himself has had to contend with difficulties. Currently in Florida, but based in the Ukraine where his family currently is, much of his staff have decided to remain behind despite discussing evacuation plans ahead of the invasion.

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Vasylchuk said his female employees were volunteering at hospitals, while some men, including the company’s head of security, had committed to fighting on the front line.

To support their efforts, the crypto staking company partnered with FTX and Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation to create the decentralized autonomous organization Aid for Ukraine.

The DAO, which accepts donations through the Solana blockchain’s SOL token, has already raised over $1.4m. 

Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation said there are several reasons for the popularity of crypto in the country: a big blockchain developer community and tech-savvy population in general, cumbersome regulations for export and import transactions, and the absence of a stock market in the country.

All of this is encouraging people to try out digital assets, the Ministry said in a blog post.


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