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Ukraine Government Breaks Down How it Spent $54M in Crypto

2 mins
Updated by Geraint Price
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In Brief

  • The government will spend the $54 million in cryptocurrency donations on more military equipment and medical supplies.
  • The most expensive items listed included unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), armored vests, computer hardware and software, and weapons.
  • Meanwhile, Japan’s largest online brokerage has ceased cryptocurrency mining operations in Russia out of fear of reprisal for breaking sanctions.
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The beleaguered Ukrainian government is spending $54 million in cryptocurrency donations on military and medical supplies, according to a senior minister.

“With $54M raised by @_AidForUkraine, we’ve supplied our defenders with military equipment, armor clothes, medicines and even vehicles,” Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov said on Twitter. “Thanks to the crypto community for support since the start of the full-scale invasion!”

Ukraine shows spending breakdown

Ukraine spent the highest amount, $11.8 million, on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), according to a breakdown of spending.

Armored vests came in second at $6.9 million. Next, $5.7 million, $5.2 million, and $5 million were respectively spent on computer hardware and software, the government’s anti-war media campaign, and weapons requested by the Ministry of Defense.

While the breakdown included quantities purchased for most items, the latter three were not disclosed for security purposes.

The donations have been facilitated by Aid For Ukraine, an initiative launched by Everstake, the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, and FTX.

The U.S. cryptocurrency exchange has been supporting the endeavor by converting the crypto donations into fiat and sending the donations to the National Bank of Ukraine.

In March, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a virtual assets bill into law to legalize cryptocurrencies in a country that has been receiving millions in crypto donations for military and humanitarian aid in its war against Russia.

The government had previously managed to sell off non-fungible tokens that had been donated to the war effort.

Japan shutters Russian crypto mine

Meanwhile, the consequences of invading Ukraine continue to mount for Russia, with sanctions further compromising its global economic integration. For instance, Japan’s biggest online brokerage, SBI Holdings, announced that it would shut down crypto-mining operations in Russia, out of fear of reprisal for skirting sanctions.

Chief Financial Officer Hideyuki Katsuchi announced plans to liquidate the crypto mining equipment earlier this week.

Following China’s ban on cryptocurrency mining last year, most miners flocked to Russia, after the United States, to take advantage of low-cost power from natural gas and hydropower dams.

However, after sanctions on Russian companies were first introduced following the invasion earlier this year, the U.S. Treasury Department targeted Switzerland-based crypto mining company BitRiver over its operations in Russia.

Shortly thereafter, Compass Mining preemptively relieved itself of $30 million hardware that had been operating in Siberia.

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Nicholas Pongratz
Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage.