: Ukrainian government receives $20 million in crypto donations to aid in defense against Russian invasion

The Ukrainian government, along with non-government groups backing the besieged nation, have raised more than $20 million in donations of cryptocurrencies, according to a Monday analysis published by blockchain analytics firm Elliptic.

On Friday, the Ukrainian government solicited donations of the cryptocurrencies bitcoin BTCUSD, +9.19%, ether ETHUSD, +7.65% and tether USDTUSD, -0.02% to aid in its war effort against Russia on Twitter.

As of midday Monday, donations to the Ukrainian crypto wallets reached more than $12.5 million, according to a website created Jerry Brito, executive director of the crypto advocacy group Coin Center, to track donations to those wallets.

Elliptic’s analysis shows that $1.86 million of that money came from a single donation, while another transaction revealed a $1 million donation.

Donations to non-government organizations like Come Back Alive, which support the Ukrainian war effort, have put the total number of crypto donations at $20.9 million, according to Elliptic’s analysis.

On Thursday, the online donation platform Patreon blocked Come Back Alive from its service for using contributions to fund military operations.

“What I love about this is that given crypto’s nature, anyone in the world can pitch in — even people in Russia or China,” Brito wrote in a Monday newsletter.

The international attention over the war in Ukraine has also attracted fraudsters, according to the Elliptic analysis. “Scammers also appear to be taking advantage of the current situation by tricking unsuspecting users wishing to donate to Ukrainian causes,” the blog post reads. “Elliptic has identified a number of fraudulent crypto fundraising scams which are exploiting the current situation.” 

The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday that the President Joe Biden’s administration is considering sanctioning use of cryptocurrencies by the Russian government and powerful Russians, while Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov said on Sunday that he requested that major crypto exchanges “block addresses of Russian users.”

Bianance, the world’s largest crypto exchange according to coinmarketcap.com, told Reuters Monday that it is blocking the accounts of any Russian clients targeted by U.S. sanctions, but that it will not freeze the accounts of those not specifically targeted by sections.

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