Is bitcoin the solution to the Russian-Ukraine war?

Temitope Akintade

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies solve not only problems in the financial sector, they also have a significant number of other real-life use cases. Bitcoin fixes a lot of things. It fixes corruption, theft, inflation, incompetence, inefficiencies, speed, privacy, intermediaries, energy, and trust.

For the first time in human history, anybody can trade values globally and freely, without the interference of the government or regulatory agencies. When Satoshi Nakamoto created bitcoin, one of the core philosophies was to give freedom to anybody in the world to trade values peer-to-peer with anyone they wanted to do with.

One of the reasons Bitcoin was created is to provide a fairer system that does not depend on corrupt politicians, greedy bankers, or obsolete financial institutions. When money and power get concentrated in a few hands, bad things are bound to happen.

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A recent occurrence where bitcoin ‘solved it all’ was the Nigerian October 2020 #EndSARS protests.

Similar to that, Bitcoin donations piled into Ukraine after Russia threatened to proceed with the invasion on February 8. The donations were mainly led by Ukrainian volunteers and hacking groups who have been at the forefront to condemn Russia’s activity.

Among the organisations receiving the donations include Come Back Alive, a Ukrainian NGO backing the country’s military. However, on February 24, the NGO’s Patreon membership was suspended over policy allegations. Russia launched an attack on Ukraine last Thursday, Ukraine continues to record a significant inflow of crypto donations with the value approaching the $30 million mark, currently standing at $27.2 million, according to blockchain analytics firm – Elliptic. 

Binance, the largest exchange in the world has also donated $6 million via a new crypto crowdfunding platform, to help the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Binance has also launched a crypto crowdfunding site called the Ukraine Emergency Relief Fund. Anyone can donate crypto to help provide emergency relief and to support logistics on the ground. This includes food, fuel, and supplies.

According to Binance CEO – Changpeng Zhao: “Watching this conflict escalate over the past four days has shocked our community to its core. We are proud to have been able to quickly rally our network to provide relief and support on the ground to those in need. This includes helping provide food, fuel, supplies and shelter for Ukrainians, which include countless Binance community members. We are using every resource and governmental channel we have to call on world leaders to end this conflict immediately.” 

Binance is also collaborating with local aid groups to expedite Ukrainians’ passage across the border into neighbouring countries.

According to a tweet published by the official Twitter account of Ukraine, the embattled country will be accepting crypto-asset donations in the form of Bitcoin ($BTC), Ethereum ($ETH), and USDT. The tweet included accompanying addresses for those looking to donate to the nation’s efforts to resist Russian invasion, including support for civilians and the military.

Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, Mykhailo Fedorov, also took to Twitter to ask for support for the people of Ukraine, publishing wallet addresses for donations in crypto. While initial concern was that the posts may have constituted a scam, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin shared a tweet claiming that Ukrainian Ambassador Olex Scherba had confirmed the crypto donation addresses. 

The happenings of the past, the unfolding occurrences and the prospective ones all point to the same thing – Bitcoin and blockchain is a generational revolution that no power or entity can fight and win against.

The success of bitcoin over the last decade has been phenomenal. Countries like El Salvador and recently Brazil, and Ukraine are already making their way and attracting global investors to their pool.

Bitcoin is here to stay, it may be hard to accept, but it is changing the banking operating system. If governments and banks worldwide make necessary friendly policies to welcome this technology, it will be a win-win for every human.

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