Crypto’s Top Players Are Donating Millions to Ukraine


Key Takeaways

  • Ukraine has received around $70 million in cryptocurrency donations since it began accepting them on Feb. 26.
  • Many of the industry’s top firms have also made large donations to Ukraine.
  • Binance and Kraken are among the largest donors, each contributing over $10 million to support the country.

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Ukraine has received millions of dollars in donations from some of the largest firms in the crypto industry following Russia’s invasion.

Crypto Firms Send Financial Aid to Ukraine

The crypto community is making big efforts to help Ukraine. 

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The Ukrainian government shocked the crypto world on Feb. 26 when it announced that it was accepting cryptocurrency donations following Russia’s military attack. “Stand with the people of Ukraine. Now accepting cryptocurrency donations,” wrote the war-stricken country on its official Twitter account alongside a plea Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tether donations. It’s since opened donations for Polkadot, Solana, and Dogecoin. So far, the country has received around $70 million in donations from the campaign.

While most of the donations came from individual donors, some of the industry’s largest firms have also responded to the crisis by sending significant sums through other initiatives. The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has donated $10 million via its Binance Charity Foundation to multiple major humanitarian NGOs, including UNICEF and UNHCR, to help the crisis in Ukraine. Moreover, the exchange has raised an additional $11 million through its Ukraine Emergency Relief Fund, over $2.5 million of which has already been sent to UNICEF.

Kraken, another major U.S-based crypto exchange, has also pledged to donate $10 million to Ukrainian customers. The firm said Wednesday that starting tomorrow, Ukrainian clients who had created accounts on the platform before today would receive $1,000 in Bitcoin that can immediately be withdrawn from the exchange. Moving forward, Kraken also said it would “donate an amount equivalent to the total trading fees paid by Russia-based clients in the first half of 2022 to the aid package.”

FTX and Celsius have taken a similar approach to support Ukrainians, both giving their Ukrainian customers $25 each. FTX has also recently partnered up with the Ukrainian Ministry of Finance to help the country more easily accept crypto donations and offramp them to fiat.

Crypto.com and Currency.com, meanwhile, have donated $1 million apiece to support Ukraine’s humanitarian efforts. Crypto.com donated the entire sum to the International Committee of the Red Cross, while Currency.com directed its funding to Ukraine’s Ministry of Health, the Red Cross, and the humanitarian organization ASAP Rescue.

The NFT community has also rallied to support Ukraine amid the crisis. Bored Ape Yacht Club, arguably the biggest and most successful NFT brand, announced Tuesday that it would match the $1 million in donations to Ukraine that its members collectively raised. “almost $1m in ETH has been donated to @Ukraine by wallets containing a BAYC ecosystem NFT. Today we’re matching that with a $1m ETH donation of our own,” the project tweeted. Many other leading NFT artists have pledged to donate a portion of their sales profits to Ukrainian relief efforts since the war began. 

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Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. To date, the estimated death toll has topped 13,000, while the UN has said that more than 1.7 million Ukrainians have fled to Central Europe. According to a Bloomberg interview with the Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation Alex Bornyakov, the country has already spent over $15 million of its crypto donations on military supplies.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies. 

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