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Ukraine is switching from fiat to crypto transactions as the Russian invasion gradually strangles the country’s financial stability. While cash use declines and fiat availability drops, Ukrainians turn to BTC, Ether, and USDT to transfer assets. Furthermore, crypto donations are landing in their wallets from worldwide users as a sign of solidarity.
The question is, how much will crypto influence Ukraine’s resistance?
Restrictions on Cash Use in Ukraine
Soon after Russia invaded Ukraine, the latter’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, instated the Martial Law. This radical move comes with numerous restrictions for the country’s residents, including one on electronic cash transfers. Unfortunately, in the 21st century, this imposition affects most citizens of any developed country.
Furthermore, Ukraine’s Central Bank has suspended the use of e-money and electronic wallets, such as PayPal and Venmo. The institution clarified that “e-money” represents any fiat currency a person may hold on these payment processors. And to make matters worse, the Central Bank has limited cash withdrawals and banned banks from issuing foreign currencies.
To compensate for these restrictions, the Ukrainians have turned to cryptocurrencies. According to the local cryptocurrency exchange, Kuna, the use of stablecoins like USDT has surged in the past week. Most likely, anyone in Ukraine with a crypto wallet has used it for day-to-day cash transfers.
Undoubtedly, crypto users prefer Tether transfers during this period of massive volatility in the crypto market. The stablecoin’s pegged value to the US Dollar reduces the risk of losing money during conversions.
Crypto is the New War Relief
In this bleak scenario, a silver lining comes from the global community of crypto users. The Ukrainian army has raised more than $37 million from crypto donations in the last week. Furthermore, crypto exchanges have recorded significant donations in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies flowing into the country. Recently the country has started accepting Dogecoin and Solana donations, as per the PM.
Even the state’s high-ranked officials have joined the crypto donations campaign. For instance, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister shared BTC and Ethereum addresses on the country’s Twitter account. Moreover, the Ukrainian authorities confirmed their security when Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, declared that the accounts were a scam.
In 2022, some people are still skeptical about the use and credibility of cryptocurrencies. However, recent developments are proving them wrong. Crypto assets have become a crucial funding alternative and could even influence the outcome of the war in Ukraine. Crypto donations are unlikely to bring peace. But, they can change the world’s skewed perception of them once peace will be restored.