Ukrainian military group receives hundreds of thousands in BTC donations

Bitcoin donations to a pro-military Ukrainian group have surged in the past day.

Russian President Vladimir Putin deployed what he termed a special military operation against Ukraine early Thursday morning, launching a series of missile attacks. Ukraine is now facing a full-scale invasion from Russia on three fronts.

As Ukraine braces itself against further onslaught, blockchain analytics and compliance firm Elliptic noted earlier in the day that $400,000 in bitcoin had been donated to "Come Back Alive," a Ukrainian non-governmental organization based in Kyiv that distributes supplies to soldiers.

That number continues to grow. At current prices, the address has amassed $808,521 in bitcoin, having transacted over 900 times on the Bitcoin blockchain. Most of the transactions have occurred in the past week — and a full $725,000 in bitcoin donations, spread across 780 transactions, have landed in the wallet since yesterday. The NGO lists a bitcoin address under the contribution options on its website.

In tracking today's uptick in crypto donations, Elliptic added to a report detailing crypto donations to Ukrainian NGOs and volunteer organizations. The firm identified a number of wallets controlled by Ukrainian NGOs, finding the addresses brought in about $570,000 in bitcoin donations in 2021. More recently, Come Back Alive began seeing a surge in Bitcoin donations, receiving about $200,000 in crypto in the second half of 2021.

Come Back Alive has been crowdfunding for Ukrainian armed forces through a number of platforms. On Wednesday, it announced in a Facebook post that it had raised 20.5 million hryvnia, or about $685,000, in a day. It also raised $300,000 through Patreon, though the platform has since removed the NGO's page and is conducting an investigation into the campaign since the site does not allow the use of the platform to support the purchase of military equipment.

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Aislinn Keely joined The Block in the summer of 2019. She is a member of the outlet's policy team, holding down the legal beat. Before The Block, she lent her voice to the NPR affiliate WFUV, where she reported and anchored newscasts in addition to some podcast work. Aislinn is a proud Fordham Ram and editor-in-chief emerita of its newspaper. When she isn't writing or reporting, Aislinn is running and rock climbing.

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