Ukrainians Use Cryptocurrency to Raise “Resistance Money” Against Russia
For those of you who don’t know, Russia and Ukraine aren’t on good terms right now especially with Russia’s annexation of Crimea back in 2014. Ukrainians are in constant fear of a Russian invasion due to Russian troops near its border although the latter denies any plans of invasion.
Ukrainians Raise “Resistance Money” Using Cryptocurrency
With brewing tensions between the two countries, resistance movements and hacker groups have started to sprout up in Ukraine. These groups are using cryptocurrencies and digital assets to bypass traditional services and fund their activities.
Recent reports from blockchain analytic group Elliptic indicate that multiple people have been donating to these groups that conflict with Russia. Estimated donations are near hundreds of thousands of dollars with the donation increasing up to 900% just the last year.
One notable group amongst them is the Ukrainian Cyber Alliance which was known for making use of BTC (Bitcoin) and other cryptocurrencies in their fundraising efforts. As their name implies, the Ukrainian Cyber Alliance is a group of hackers that have engaged in multiple attacks on different Russian targets. The group is exclusively funded by cryptocurrency donations and it is estimated that they have received nearly $100,000 from their benefactors with donations coming from different cryptocurrencies and stablecoins like ETH (Ethereum). LTC (Litecoin), and of course BTC (Bitcoin).
Data Taken from Elliptic
Another Ukrainian group that’s worth noting is Myrotvorets Center. What’s interesting about this group is that they are closely associated with the Ukrainian government. This group has been reported to have received donations of BTC of at least $268,000 coming from different benefactors all over the world. When the group’s PayPal account got suspended in 2016, they turned their gaze towards Bitcoin which helped support their movement.
Elliptic notes that Myrotvorets Center has published personal information regarding “pro-Russian terrorists”, war criminals, separatists, mercenaries, and many more. This information was published on their website which led to the assassination of an important Ukrainian legislator and writer.
Another thing that Elliptic notes is that the development of these Ukrainian groups was copied after certain Russian groups in the past. A good example of this would be how pro-Russian separatists were able to fund themselves back in 2014 thanks to donations and online fundraising events.
One notable event would be the “Save the Donbas” which received an estimated amount of at least 68 Bitcoins in donations back then. Another example cited in Elliptic’s article was that of Igor Vsevolodovich Girkin, a known veteran of the Russian Army. Girkin took part in the combat in Ukraine back in 2014 and he accepted payment in BTC and other fiat-based money currencies. Gherkin is one of the people who was charged for the crime of shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight 17 back in 2014.
From the multiple examples given above, Elliptic has concluded that cryptocurrencies are a powerful tool that can be used for the funding of war and resistance movements. The company did take note that funding through cryptocurrency still makes up a small part of the overall donation. Despite this, they still stated that it’s becoming more of a popular alternative compared to bank-based donations.
One thing that Elliptic notes is that cryptocurrency is well-suited when it comes to donating beyond borders. It’s much easier to reach the funds of wealthy overseas benefactors thanks to this technology. And what’s worse is that it’s harder for financial institutions to do something about this since they don’t have the power to shut down the wallets of these benefactors.
They’ve concluded that the fundraising events of these Ukrainian groups seem to have strong ties with their government. This follows the trend of nations turning to cryptocurrencies and digital assets to bypass traditional methods.
Asides from Ukraine, Iran is also known for using cryptocurrency technology to its advantage with its recent activity of expanding its Bitcoin mining space.
This is shocking news for the crypto community since they did not expect that this new technology would be used for war. The technology is well suited for it considering that it bypasses borders and is very hard to track down.
* We hope this information will help you in your investment process, but this is not investment advice. Every investment carries risk, especially in this industry, so DYOR before making a decision.