With Russia’s infamous invasion of Ukraine entering its first year, it has emerged that cryptocurrencies have played a key role in the conflict besides being used as a means of donations.
In particular, Ukraine’s Deputy Digital Minister Alex Bornyakov has alleged that about 60% of the military equipment acquired for the war was paid for through cryptocurrencies, he said during an interview with Yahoo Finance on February 24.
According to Bornyakov, the switch to cryptocurrencies was aided by suppliers accepting digital assets as payment to avoid the inefficiencies of the traditional financial sector.
“If we used the traditional financial system, it was going to take days. <…> We were able to secure the purchase of vital items in no time at all via crypto, and what is amazing is that around 60% of suppliers were able to accept crypto, I didn’t expect this. <…> Companies manufacturing goods like bulletproof vests, helmets, and different kind of optics, even they were able to receive crypto,” he said.
Ukraine crypto donations
It is worth noting that Ukraine turned to cryptocurrencies for donations at the onset of the war in a bid to counter Russia’s firepower. The government official pointed out that the support came from different sources, including Russians. He, however, stated that contributions from blacklisted entities were returned.
“Donations to Ukraine has varied from one dollar to millions of dollars. <…> Crypto, in certain cases, offers an anonymous way to transfer money. We saw that some Russians were donating to us a significant sum. The Russian people who have donated have sent significant amounts of money,” Bornyakov said.
Following the crisis, a donation fund was set up with the Ukraine officials publicly sharing how the funds were utilized as a form of transparency.
For instance, back in August, Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s minister for Digital Transformation, shared a breakdown explaining how the government had used some of the $54 million worth of funds raised through crypto to purchase military equipment.
Notably, using cryptocurrencies to support Ukraine has highlighted the possible future role of digital assets in conflicts.