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Nigel Green & Others Raise Millions From Crypto Donations for Ukraine

Expat financial advice and banking group deVere CEO and founder Nigel Green is launching an NFT collection to raise money for Ukrainian refugees displaced by the war. Donors are awarded an NFT according to the amount they donate. A bronze NFT comes with an Ethereum equivalent of £10 (ETH 0.0017)

The tokens are stored on the Ethereum blockchain. All sale proceeds will go to charities delivering humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

Ukraine is also resorting to more traditional fundraising methods.

The government has received more than $1 billion from war bonds. These bonds are effectively a promise from the government to repay the loan with 11 per cent interest after a year.

The Ukrainian government took the war into cyberspace from the onset, pleading for donations to fund the war and the ensuing humanitarian crisis.

The appeal quickly raised more than $70 million as donations in cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ethereum and even the meme currency Dogecoin.

Reportedly Gavin Wood, founder of the crypto Polkadot, donated the most significant single amount – $5 million. Other large donations have come from rights activist Julian Assange – $2 million – and a CryptoPunk NFT valued at more than $200,000.

Ukraine then stepped up the appeal by publishing a series of NFTs documenting how the war has impacted the lives of ordinary Ukrainians, both in the fighting and those waiting at home.

Chronology Of War NFTs

The Meta History Museum of War features 54 NFTs laid out as a timeline of the war. The NFTs are images accompanied by personal reflections such as Tweets or videos.

The museum is described as an NFT timeline of the war between Russia and Ukraine and a counter to the propaganda spewed by The Kremlin.

Each NFT costs 0.15 ethereum, equivalent to around $400 at current rates.

One NFT celebrates the defiance of a dozen or so Ukrainian border guards defending the 30-acre Snake Island from attack by Russian Navy warships. The tiny island hit the news when the Ukrainians based there apparently told the now sunk cruiser Moskva to ‘Go f*** yourself’.

The NFTs will remain a tribute to the Ukrainian people minted on the Ethereum blockchain.

Russian Activists Raise $7m For Ukraine

“Disinformation is used by Russia on a par with deadly military weapons in Ukraine,” says a Tweet from the official Meta History account. “The NFT museum is based on a deep intention to keep the memory of real wartime events via blockchain and raise charitable donations to support Ukraine.”

Another NFT of the blue and yellow Ukraine flag devised by members of Russian activists and punk band Pussy Pilot raised nearly $7 million.

Elsewhere, billionaire Tesla car and SpaceX owner Elon Musk has collected an NFT from the Ukrainian government in recognition of his aid to the country since the start of the war with Russia.

Musk has given Ukraine a humanitarian lifeline by opening his Starlink satellite communication system by donating more than 10,000 broadband and smartphone terminal dishes. He has also provided cars to help civilians flee the fighting.

The Musk NFT is a pen portrait of the billionaire.

Leap Of Faith By Investors

The purchase needs a leap of faith to expect the government is not toppled, run from exile or the economy is not devastated by a long war. In the event of any of these outcomes, repayment of the loan comes with a high risk of default.

Economists predict the war will cost Ukraine’s economy more than $550 billion. In comparison, the Ukrainian GDP for 2020 was $150 billion.

The word is the government is trying to overcome money market problems to develop US dollar and euro war bonds, so supporters abroad can donate to the country’s fighting fund.

The government has already raised more than $56 million from cryptocurrency donations that average around $30 a donor. The money was spent on bulletproof vests, helmets, radios and medicines.

What is an NFT?

NFT is short for non-fungible tokens. Fungible means an item is interchangeable with another identical item. Non-fungible items are unique, like Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa hanging in The Louvre gallery in Paris. There’s only one original Mona Lisa, but lots of copies.

Like the Mona Lisa, an NFT is a unique piece of art, video or sound whose ownership is recorded on a cryptocurrency blockchain. Once verified on a cryptocurrency blockchain, the transaction is not reversible and certifies ownership of an NFT.

A token is the primary cryptocurrency on a blockchain. For example, ether is the main currency for the ethereum blockchain.

What is GDP?

GDP stands for gross domestic product. Ukraine’s $150 billion GDP is the total of goods, services and other products the country generated in a year.

Who are Pussy Riot?

Pussy Riot is a Russian feminist activist band formed in 2014. Three members were convicted of religious hate crimes for an impromptu protest in Moscow. The performance criticised the Orthodox Church for supporting President Vladimir Putin.

How do war bonds work?

War bonds are a government initiative to borrow money from individuals to finance military operations or humanitarian needs during the conflict. War bonds have a face value and promise to repay the loan plus interest over a specific time, like a year or five years. Some governments use war bonds to remove money from the economy at times of high inflation.

Are Ukraine war bonds a good investment?

Investment experts urge ordinary investors to avoid buying Ukraine war bonds unless they are ready to lose their money. Most analysts point out that the Ukrainian currency – the hryvnia – is unsupported internationally and is likely to face supply and liquidity issues because of the war with Russia. Investment platform AJ Bell suggests giving money to an established charity rather than buying war bonds, which could be open to scams.

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