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Bitcoin pouring into Ukraine as Russia masses troops on the border

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As they travel to unfamiliar training areas in Belarus, servicemen from Russia’s Eastern Military District unit attend a welcome ceremony. They combine their personal transport with trains to participate in an exercise jointly held by Russia and Belarus. The purpose of the exercise is to simulating repelling an attack at its borders, cut possible supplies for intruders, as well as detect, contain, and eliminate their combat and subversive forces.

Russian Defence Ministry | TASS | Getty Images

More than 100,000 Russian soldiers mass on the border with Ukraine — and global powers work to stave off all-out war between the two countries — new data shows that Ukrainians are crowdfunding bitcoinYou must fight back.

Voluntary groups and non-governmental organizations in Ukraine have received donations totaling several hundred of thousands of dollars. according to a report from EllipticThis company offers blockchain analytics tools to banks, as well some of the most popular cryptocurrency platforms around, like Binance, Circle, and others.

Activists have deployed the crypto for a variety of purposes, including equipping the Ukrainian army with military equipment, medical supplies and drones, as well as funding the development of a facial recognition app that identifies if someone is a Russian mercenary or spy.

Elliptic chief scientist Tom Robinson stated that cryptocurrency was increasingly used to crowdfund war with tacit approval from governments.

Russia is a great country. says it has no plan to mount an offensiveTo help prepare for an invasion, U.S., U.K., and other countries have sent preemptive military hardware to Ukraine.

This handout image, which was released on February 7, 2022 shows a picture of Ukrainian tanks performing tactical drills at a Kherson training ground, Ukraine.

Ukrainian Armed Forces Press Service via Reuters| via Reuters

You are borderless, and you can censor yourself

Over the years, volunteers have helped to augment Ukraine’s military work by providing manpower and additional resources. For example, thousands of volunteers organized by organizations stepped in to help protestors after Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s proRussian president, was overthrown in 2014.

These funds are typically received from private donors via bank wires, payment apps or banking app. But cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, have gained popularity because they enable them to bypass banks that may block payments to Ukraine.

“Cryptocurrency is particularly suited to international fundraising because it doesn’t respect national boundaries and it’s censorship-resistant — there is no central authority that can block transactions, for example in response to sanctions,” said Elliptic’s Robinson.

Boaz Sobrado is a London-based Fintech Data Analyst who advises charities in authoritarian nations such as former East bloc countries on how to raise funds.

Elliptic reports that volunteer organizations and non-governmental organizations have combined raised more than $570,000 in crypto, A lot of the crypto money was obtained in the past one year.

Elliptic Software is occasionally available. used to investigate criminal activityOn bitcoin’s digital ledger and monitor transactions to fight money laundering. Elliptic identified several cryptocurrency wallets that were used by volunteers in Ukraine for this report. This allows Elliptic to track where and how the crypto funds are being spent.

Come Back Alive (a group that accepted cryptocurrency) provides equipment, medical supplies, and training services to the military. They claim that bitcoin donations increased to $200,000 by the end of the second quarter 2021.

Ukrainian Cyber Alliance is another group that claims to raise money in crypto. This group has raised close to $100,000 in Bitcoin over the past year. litecoin, etherA mix of stablecoins. Elliptic claims that Alliance activists engaged in cyberattacks against Russian targets since 2016.

“Their operations have included attacks on propaganda sites, the Russian Ministry of Defense, and various individuals linked to Russia’s activities in Ukraine. The report states that intelligence gathered during the operations was shared with Ukrainian intelligence agencies and law enforcement.

Kyiv’s NGO Myrotvotrets Center, which is based in Kyiv, has been accepting donations in cryptocurrency since 2016. It currently works on a facial recognition program that can identify Russian mercenaries and soldiers based on photos.

The organization — which says donations to its cause have come from more than 40 countries — already publishes information about people considered to be “enemies of Ukraine.”

The Myrotvotrets Center claims that it has raised $267,000 so far through over 100 Bitcoin donations.

Border guards and soldiers can be seen at the border wall being built along the Polish-Belarus frontier in Tolcze County, Sokolka County in Podlaskie Voivodeship in northern Poland, January 27, 2022.

Getty Images| AFP | Getty Images

Cryptocurrency is not just for Ukrainian activists.

Pro-Russian separatists raised funds using bitcoin in the early days after the Russo–Ukrainian war. CNBC’s Sobrado said that Russian officials had stated to him they didn’t close down opposition bank accounts out of “fear they would push them into cryptocurrency fundraising,” which can be much more difficult to track.

Sobrado said that cryptocurrency fundraising has been an ongoing practice for controversial causes. from WikiLeaksAlexei Navalny is a Russian opposition politician who has also been raising funds in bitcoin.

The embrace of cryptocurrency by Ukraine

Ukraine took steps over months to accept cryptocurrencies on a national scale.

Ukrainian In 2021, President Volodymyr Zilenskyy signed legislation that allowed the central bank of the country to create its own digital currency.

Both the president and parliament also go back and forth a law that would legalize and regulate cryptocurrency. The measure would be a big step towards lifting crypto from the legal grey area in which it is currently resides. However, it won’t reach as far as El Salvador that adopted bitcoin legal tender in September.

In August 2021 on an official State Visit to the U.S. Zelenskyy spoke of Ukraine’s budding “legal innovative market for virtual assets” as a selling point for investment, and Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov said the country was modernizing its payment market so that its national bank would be able to issue digital currency.

According to Kyiv Post reports, Russia plans to open cryptocurrency markets to both investors and companies this year. State officials in high office have been promoting their crypto street cred with investors and venture capital fund managers in Silicon Valley.

However, a war with Russia could make all of those plans obsolete.

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