Despite reports that Ukraine's crypto airdrop had come early, it appears highly likely that the token has nothing to do with the Ukrainian government.
CoinDesk earlier reported that the Ukrainian government had started sending "Peaceful World" tokens to people who had to donated cryptocurrency to support its defence against Russia, before issuing a clarification. However, there are a number of reasons why these tokens do not appear genuine.
For a start, the tokens are being handed out six hours ahead of the snapshot time publicized by Ukraine's official Twitter account. A snapshot is when a record of the blockchain is taken, with this list used to calculate how many tokens should be given out to each address in the following airdrop. It wouldn't make sense for an airdrop to go out ahead of the snapshot.
Igor Igamberdiev, a researcher at The Block, points to several other red flags.
While the tokens appeared to be sent out from the official Ukraine Ethereum wallet, this was actually a trick, according to Igamberdiev. In this type of scam, tokens set to be movable by anyone – not just the wallet's owner – are distributed but then moved to another address. It makes it look like the address owner moved them, when they had no involvement. "This is how scammers usually work," Igamberdiev said.
In addition, the tokens were funded from Binance to create the contract, do the airdrop and add liquidity on decentralized exchanges. According to Igamberdiev, the contract could freeze funds at a specific address – a worrying sign. Plus, he noted that the code used for the airdrop is very inefficient unless Ukraine was planning to give all donors roughly the same amount of tokens. Most airdrops allocate tokens proportionately to a user's involvement rather than rewarding everyone equally.
The tokens are already being traded on Uniswap and have seen $500,000 in trading volume so far.
We have reached out to the Ukrainian government and will update this story should we hear back.