RIYADH: The Ukrainian government has raised $50 million in cryptocurrency within a week since Russia launched its invasion, Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation, Alex Bornyakov, said.
The government has so far spent $15 million in donated cryptocurrency to purchase military supplies, including bulletproof vests, Bloomberg reported.
Many people have donated cryptocurrency to the Ukrainian government since the beginning of the war with Russia.
“The Crypto Fund of Ukraine raised $50M in crypto in a week to support Ukraine. An incredible unity before Putin's encroachment on freedom and democracy. Aiming for $100M this week. We will win!,” Mykhailo Fedorov, the vice prime minister of Ukraine tweeted.
Most of the donations were in Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Bornyakov also said that the Ukrainian government expects to double its $50 million in cryptocurrency donations in the next two to three days, according to Bloomberg.
In addition, the Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation indicated that about 40 percent of suppliers are willing to accept cryptocurrency payments.
The rest is paid by converting cryptocurrencies into euros and dollars, according to Bitcoin.com.
The ministry is also working with two companies to launch a non-fungible token collection to raise additional funds.
Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded higher on Monday, rising by 0.05 percent to $38,385 at 3:03 p.m. Riyadh time.
Ether, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $2,541, down by 2.68 percent, according to data from Coindesk.
Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, governments around the world have raised concerns that cryptocurrency could be used to circumvent sanctions imposed by Western countries.
“Currently, the media and politicians are spending a lot of effort and focus on crypto and sanctions. The truth is, crypto is too small for Russia,” the CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao said.
Zhao added: “Another reason Russia would not want to use crypto is that it is too traceable. And governments around the world are already very adept at tracking it.”
In addition, Zhao said using privacy-focused cryptocurrencies, such as Monero, will also not work because the market capitalization of it is $3 billion compared with Russia’s GDP of $1.5 trillion, according to Bitcoin.com.
Noting that every crypto transaction can be scrutinized by anyone, he stressed that crypto assets are “not an effective tool for illicit activities.”