A new report from blockchain analytics startup Elliptic details how some NGOs and volunteer groups of pro-Ukrainian hacktivists and military organizations are receiving crypto donations to help fund operations against Russia.
According to a new analysis by blockchain analytics startup Elliptic, as tensions on Ukraine’s border continue to grow, Ukrainian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are seeing a dramatic increase in Bitcoin donations.
These aren’t charities dedicated to alleviating poverty or promoting social justice. It’s pro-Ukraine hacktivists and military groups we’re talking about.
According to Elliptic, these NGOs and other organizations are utilizing cryptocurrencies to “crowdfund war.”
As a preliminary to a possible invasion, Russia has collected 100,000 to 130,000 troops on its borders with Ukraine and Belarus. The US, which is a close friend of Ukraine, has deployed 3,000 troops to the region, with another 8,500 on high alert.
Local NGOs have begun gaining financial backing for soldiers, weaponry, and medical supplies in retaliation to government corruption, according to the report. Donors are using Bitcoin to send money to such NGOs, according to Elliptic, bypassing any banks or financial institutions that would stop transfers.
Some of the NGO’s receiving Bitcoin donations
According to the research, “Elliptic has discovered many cryptocurrency wallets used by these volunteer groups and NGOs, which have received payments totalling just over $570,000 – much of it over the past year.”
Come Back Alive, which provides training, military, and medical equipment, and the Myrotvorets Center, which has ties to the Ukrainian government, are among the organizations getting Bitcoin donations, according to Elliptic.
Other hacktivist groups that have carried out cyberattacks against Russian targets include Ukrainian Cyber Alliance and Belarusian Cyber-Partisans. According to Elliptic, the Ukrainian Cyber Alliance has received about $100,000 in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and stablecoins in the last year.
The concept did not originate in Ukraine. According to Elliptic, the organizations are stealing the idea from pro-Russian organizations, which started using Bitcoin fundraising in 2014.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, on the other hand, account for a minuscule part of the money moving into Ukraine. Traditional payment mechanisms are used to transfer the majority of the funds, which are fiat currencies.