Ukrainian government raises $20 million after plea for cryptocurrency

A crowdfunding appeal from the government of Ukraine has raised nearly $20 million in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, according to Reuters.

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Ukraine’s official Twitter account sent out the appeal for money on Saturday as Russia continued its invasion of the country. The tweet provided digital wallet addresses for tokens including bitcoin and ether.

Ukraine’s Vice-Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov provided the wallet address in the tweet.

On Sunday, he called for cryptocurrency exchanges to block Russian users.

“I’m asking all major crypto exchanges to block addresses of Russian users. It’s crucial to freeze not only the addresses linked to Russian and Belarusian politicians, but also to sabotage ordinary users.

In the early morning hours of Monday, the wallet addresses had received crypto worth $20 million, London-based Elliptic said.

According to Elliptic, a company that tracks the movement of digital coins, the majority of donations received to date “have been in Bitcoin and Ether, although US Dollar stablecoins contribute a significant proportion.”

It is not only cryptocurrencies that are being donated, according to Elliptic, but also non-fungible tokens, which are being sent to the Ukrainian government’s ethereum account.

NFTs are digital assets that represent real-world objects like art, music, in-game items and videos, Forbes explains. They are bought and sold online.

Fedorov confirmed that the tweets were from the Ukrainian government and said the money would be used to “destroy as much Russian soldiers as possible.”

The donations came as Russian forces tried to push further into the country. While Russia has taken two small cities in southeastern Ukraine and the area around a nuclear power plant, its military has run into determined Ukrainian resistance throughout the country.

Russia’s currency plummeted against the dollar Monday after news of sanctions by the U.S. and its allies being launched against the country.

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