Donations in Bitcoin and Ethereum reach Ukraine from all over the world. But there is also concern that Russia could circumvent Western sanctions with the help of digital currencies. However, it is not that easy.
“Reminder: Ethereum is neutral. I’m not,” Vitalik Buterin tweeted shortly after Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine began. Buterin was born in Russia, grew up in Canada and is considered the main mind behind Ethereum, which, measured On Twitter, the software developer strongly condemned the Russian aggression and encouraged his 3.4 million Twitter followers to support Ukraine, such as crypto donations as part of the #Unchain_Ukraine campaign.
30 million in crypto donations for Ukraine
So far, 1.4 million euros have been collected through #Unchain_Ukraine alone. But the Ukrainian government itself also called for crypto money to be sent to it. A total of USD 30 million in crypto is said to have already flowed to Ukraine via various initiatives.
Can Russia bypass the sanctions with Bitcoin?
But not only as a donation vehicle for Ukraine are cryptocurrencies making a name for themselves these days. Fears are raised again and again that Russia could use cryptocurrencies to circumvent the sanctions that the West imposed on the country in response to the war of aggression as per GetIndiaNews.
Crypto platforms: Unblock Russian addresses
The reactions of major crypto exchanges to a request from Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov also contributed to such fears. He asked Binance, Coinbase, Kraken and Co. to block the addresses of Russian users. But the crypto exchanges waved it off. On Twitter, Kraken boss Jesse Powell referred, among other things, to the libertarian tradition of the crypto community, which such a measure would run counter to. The other major platforms made similar statements.
The question, however, is whether cryptocurrencies really represent a way for the Russian state to support its own economy on a large scale, for example to compensate for being excluded from the Swift system. Ultimately, there are some arguments against the Russian state simply being able to conduct its business in Bitcoin from now on. Experts point out that the crypto world is now much more regulated than is commonly believed and that transactions with crypto money can be tracked in real time via the blockchain.
Bitcoin and Ethereum rise in price
In the short term in particular, Russian companies will find it difficult to pay for goods and services with Bitcoin & Co., because the companies would first have to be able to hold and receive cryptocurrency. Nevertheless, the price of Bitcoin & Co. has risen noticeably since the Russia committee decided to leave the SWIFT system. The market capitalisation of bitcoin is now higher than that of the Russian ruble.