A group of Ukrainian volunteers supplying equipment to the country’s military has received more than $4 million in bitcoin donations since Russia launched its invasion on Thursday, according to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic. Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic.
London-based company Elliptic said earlier this month that donations to Ukrainian hacking and volunteer groups spiked as Russian troops landed near the border. Since the invasion, however, it has tracked the transfer of much larger sums to these groups.
Elliptic said a group of Ukrainian volunteers, Come Back Alive, received $3 million in a bitcoin donation on Friday, although the identities of those behind the donation are unclear because of bitcoin and Other tokens can be sent and received anonymously.
Missiles hit Kyiv on Friday and families cowered in bomb shelters as Russian forces advanced and authorities said they were preparing for an attack aimed at toppling the government.
Kyiv-based Come Back Alive, which said it supplies medical kits and supplies to the Ukrainian military, including drones and sniper rifle scopes, did not immediately respond to a request. comment.
The team told Reuters earlier this month that it had raised $167,000 worth of cryptocurrency in more than a dozen transactions between August and early February. At the time, Come Back Alive said the amount. is still unused, and it is saving crypto donations for “future projects.”
The spike in donations underscores the growing role cryptocurrencies play in online fundraising, in part because anonymity allows organizations to raise money even when financial firms do not. government does not allow or impose strict checks on money transfers.
Ukraine tightens money transfer checks in 2020 to curb money laundering, requiring ID verification for some domestic remittances. Cross-border money transfers are also subject to mandatory supervision.