The government of Ukraine has sold a CryptoPunk NFT to raise over US $100,000, which will be used in its war efforts against Russia, Alex Bornyakov, deputy minister of digital transformation of Ukraine, has tweeted.
The CryptoPunk #5364 was donated to the ‘Aid for Ukraine’ crypto fund-raising campaign in March and the Fund has sold the NFT in early June to an anonymous buyer for 90 ETH, which is worth more than US $100,000 in value, based on the current market rate of Ether.
Ukraine has so far raised over US $135 million in cryptocurrency and NFT donations since the Russian invasion started in end-February, he said, while adding the first wave of crypto donations has since subsided.
In a situation, where the national bank is really not operating, crypto is helping to perform fast transfers, make it very quick and get results almost immediately, he has reportedly told in a Zoom call. However, the Ukrainian deputy minister also clarified that Ukraine’s crypto donations were not playing “a major part” in the nation’s wider economy but that they remained “essential in this conflict”.
The ‘Aid for Ukraine’ Fund was launched in March by the Ukrainian government to help enable crypto donations aimed at helping Ukraine in its war efforts against Russia. The crypto Fund helps Ukraine purchase non-lethal supplies for Ukraine’s military and the supplies range from bullet-proof vests to medical supplies.
The ‘Aid for Ukraine’ Fund is co-operating with the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, which converts crypto funds received into fiat currency and sends the donations to the National Bank of Ukraine. This marks the first-ever instance of a cryptocurrency exchange directly co-operating with a public financial entity to provide a conduit for crypto donations.
Apart from humanitarian aid from various organizations, Ukrainian government officials have been appealing to the global crypto community to support their fight by donating in crypto assets, ever since the Russian invasion started in end-February. Many artists have also started releasing Ukraine-themed NFT and channeling the proceeds to the cause.
In early March, a crypto group raised US $6.75 million for the country’s war efforts through the sale of a single NFT of the Ukrainian flag. A few weeks ago, at this year’s Eurovision champions, the Ukrainian rap group Kalush Orchestra auctioned off their trophy from the music competition to raise almost US $1 million in ETH for the Fund.
A bulk of the corpus of the ‘Aid for Ukraine’ Fund has already been used to provide vital essentials, such as food for civilians and protective gear for the nation’s soldiers. According to Bornyakov’s tweet, cryptocurrencies donated to Ukraine have been “transferred to the needs of the (Ukrainian) Army”.