After Pussy Riot raised $6.6 million by selling a pic of the Ukrainian flag as a NFT, Ukraine has decided to issue a NFT collection to secure the funds needed by the armed forces.
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According to Ukraine’s vice-prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, the country has abandoned plans to award crypto donors with a ‘AirDrop,’ a word used to indicate a free distribution of a digital asset, and will instead issue its own collection of NFTs to fund its conflict with Russia.
“We will announce NFTs to support Ukrainian Armed Forces soon. We DO NOT HAVE any plans to issue any fungible tokens,” he declared in a tweet on Thursday.
According to the Financial Times, Ukraine’s embrace of digital assets as a means of funding its military forces comes after it raised around $200 million in “war bonds.”
Over the last few weeks, cryptocurrency adoption has exploded in Ukraine, with Bitcoin trading at a 6% premium on Binance’s Ukrainian Hryvina (UAH) market. According to data provider Elliptic, $42.9 million has been given to the Ukrainian government thus far.
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NFTs are collectible digital tokens that are immutable and fixed on the blockchain (though one can always take a screenshot and possess a non-blockchain version). Sales of digital assets increased dramatically last year, pushing the global market to $40 billion.
It It is unclear what these NFTs will consist of or whether they will be transferred for free or sold in an auction, for additional fundraising.
Ukraine has already disbursed $14mn of the cryptocurrency to invest in the conflict, Michael Chobanian, president of Ukraine’s Blockchain Association and a central figure in the fundraising effort, told CoinDesk TV on Tuesday.
Uniswap, a decentralised cryptocurrency exchange, has also allowed listed tokens on its site to be swapped into ethereum and donated to Ukraine in a single transaction.
An NFT of a pixelated smoking man wearing a blue bandanna and sunglasses from a popular collection called CryptoPunks, worth around $200,000, was also sent to Ukraine’s crypto wallet this week.-FT
Meanwhile, a decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) sponsored by Russian activist musical group Pussy Riot has collected $6.6 million by selling an NFT of the Ukrainian flag to contributors.
According to the Financial Times, Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood gave $5.8 million to the Ukrainian government through Polkadot, and another DAO supported by Solana and the Ukrainian government collected roughly $1.4 million to “go directly to aiding Ukrainians on the ground.”