Yarema Dukh, a communications engineer who helped set up the official Ukraine Twitter account in 2016, confirmed to BuzzFeed News that Tweet and Wallet is a legitimate government project. He believed the cryptocurrency funds would go to “exterminate as many Russian residents as possible,” but was unsure of the exact government spending plans.
Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine early Thursday morning. Since then, Russian forces have entered Kyiv, endangering its democratically elected government.
Initially, some people, including Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, expressed concern that the account might have been tweeted by scammers who had hacked it. After hearing from Deputy Prime Minister Buterin He tweeted He accepted the confirmation, but encouraged people to always be cautious when sending donations in cryptocurrency.
So far, the largest donation of 100 ethers (about $278,000) has come from Deepak Thapliyal, CEO of blockchain technology company Chain.com, according to Ledger. “When I realized that the Ukrainian government requested donations in crypto, I felt compelled to do my part to help,” Thapiyal told BuzzFeed News. “Crypto donations are borderless and near-instant, so I hope the government there can tap into that as soon as possible to help people in need.”
Ukrainian NGOs and volunteer groups have a history of accepting Bitcoin. Come Back Alive, a volunteer group that supplies the Ukrainian military, has asked for donations in cryptocurrency since 2018, according to blockchain analytics company Elliptic. The government and NGOs have received $11 million in cryptocurrency donations since the offensive began on Thursday, Elliptic said in a report.
The nation is especially ready to handle cryptocurrency donations. This fall, it passed a law to legalize and regulate bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, making it one of a handful of countries that have embraced the cryptocurrency. Ukraine’s low taxes and large pool of tech talent have made it a cryptocurrency hub.