Uniswap, a leading DEX, has created an interface that allows users to exchange any ERC-20 token for Ethereum and donate it to the Ukrainian government in a single transaction.
“We built an interface that swaps any token for ETH and then sends it directly to the Ukrainian government in a single transaction to ensure that everyone who wants to donate ERC-20 tokens to the Ukrainian government can do so,” Uniswap tweeted.
The protocol interface was designed so that “anyone who wants to donate but holds other ERC-20 tokens can do so with one click.”
Crypto Goes Mainstream
Cryptocurrency is now a more mainstream part of the global financial system, which means that it is inevitably a part of international conflict, for better or worse. This is evident as Russian forces invade Ukraine. Millions of dollars in cryptocurrency have been sent to Ukraine’s army and hacktivist groups. Even the Ukrainian government is now accepting cryptocurrency donations and has already raised more than $15 million.
Some Ukrainians are also turning to cryptocurrency as a substitute for Ukrainian financial institutions, which are restricting access to bank accounts and foreign currency.
In a situation where governments are in disarray, it is difficult to rely on traditional banks, and there is apprehension about surveillance. As a result, a relatively anonymous system with no government involvement is appealing.
Bitcoin and Ethereum
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, tens of millions of dollars in cryptocurrency were donated to the Ukrainian government and non-governmental organizations.
Earlier this week, the Ukrainian government released a Bitcoin and Ethereum donation address; blockchain records show that these addresses have received more than $8 million and $7 million in Bitcoin and Ethereum, respectively.
The Ukrainian government announced earlier on Twitter that it was now accepting Polkadot donations as well, with “more cryptocurrencies” to follow.
Elliptic, a blockchain analytics firm, indicated the total amount of cryptocurrency donations sent to the Ukrainian government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) surpassed $20 million yesterday.
A fundraiser called Support Ukrainian Sovereignty claims to have raised $511,000 to date, in addition to donations sent directly to Ukrainian government addresses.
Polkadot Now Accepted
The Ukrainian government also announced that it is now accepting Polkadot cryptocurrency donations in addition to Bitcoin, Ethereum, and USDT donations.
“The people of Ukraine are grateful for the global crypto community’s support and donations as we fight for our freedom.” “We are now accepting Polkadot donations as well,” said the government’s official Twitter account earlier today.
Polkadot founder Gavin Wood responded to the Ukrainian government’s initial appeal for donations on February 27 by saying he would donate $5 million if the Ukrainian government began accepting Polkadot.
Wood was chastised at the time for not simply donating funds in the cryptocurrencies that the government accepted at the time.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies have been donated to the Ukrainian government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) assisting in the country’s defense.
According to Elliptic, Ukraine’s crypto crowdfunding effort surpassed $20 million on February 27th.
This could be a seminal moment as the Western world unites against the naked aggression of Russia by embracing and using cryptocurrency to defend Ukraine. What better use case could there be than helping a population under attack by a brutal and repressive regime?
For the time being, we can’t fathom how crypto will influence international conflict, or whether it will ultimately help or harm. People fleeing war zones may find a unique use for cryptocurrency, but they must first learn how to use it. There are already numerous other methods of raising and moving money that do not involve digital currencies. And, while cryptocurrency may make it easier to avoid sanctions, countries were evading sanctions long before bitcoin.
What we do know is that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are now a real factor in global economies and conflicts around the world. Whether it’s good or bad in wartime, crypto is doing what its supporters claim it does — providing a way for people to work outside of traditional financial institutions — and there’s no sign that this will change anytime soon.
Jay Speakman is a technology writer based in San Francisco, California. He writes on the topics of blockchain, cryptocurrency, DeFi and other disruptive technologies. Clients include Avalanche, Be[in]Crypto, Trust Machines and several blogs devoted to blockchain gaming. He will not rest until fiat currency is defeated.