The center of the latest fundraising effort was a simple office above the head of a London baker.
Isaac Kamlish (ages 23-25), Nathan Cohen (ages 25-26) Isaac Kamlish (ages 23-25), Nathan Cohen (ages 25-26) and Isaac Bentata (ages 23-26) have gathered around their laptops earlier in the week and were instrumental in launching the nation’s first auction, a one-of-a-kind digital collectibles.
Within 24 hours, Kyiv, using technology developed by the trio, has sold over 1,200 non-fungible coins (also known as NFTs), raising around $600,000 to fund Kyiv’s defence against Russia.
This auction, which made innovative utilization of blockchain technology in wartime finance, shows the way that Ukraine’s government uses both old and new tools to make the money it needs in the midst of the crisis.
NFT that was financed by a member of Pussy Riot raises $6.7million for Ukraine
Old school is the only way to play. Kyiv has raked in approximately $1 billion in war bonds. These were sold to private individuals and institutions across Ukraine. It’s due to the fact that the Ukrainians are willing to lend to the government, even when they don’t get all their money back.
President Volodymyr Zelensky’s administration also offered potential donors from all over the globe to make direct transfers of crypto, an effort that’s raised over $56 million, according to analytics company Chainalysis. This Wednesday, NFT sales saw many collectors from Los Angeles up to Barcelona join in what was seen as an important time for the cryptocurrency market in Ukraine as well as their nation.
“The Ukraine war is devastating and will go down on the books of history,” said Ben Jacobs co-founder of Scenius Capital, an investment firm that invests in digital assets. “This usage of crypto technology is also an historical event in itself.”
Jacobs, who lives in Venice Beach, California, purchased two NFTs. He spent $1100, plus small fees. The Ukrainian government Ukraine received around $1,000 in ether. This is the cryptocurrency used to make NFTs.
A fundraising rush
In Europe and the United States, people have been showing their support for Ukraine by hanging blue and yellow flags from buildings, hosting local fundraising events, and updating their avatars on social media.
But Zelensky’s team needs more than gestures and words. In order to keep Ukraine’s government in operation and to equip its army, Kyiv requires cash — and lots of it. According to it the conflict could result in the sum of $565 billion for the country. The GDP of the country for 2020 was $155 Billion.
“Our fiscal gaps are much larger than we expected at the beginning of the year,” Yuriy Butsa – Ukraine’s public debt commissioner management said to CNN Business. She was referring specifically to the gap between government revenue and spending.
The government launched an unprecedented initiative to raise money on a global level in order to bridge this gap in the five weeks that followed the Russian invasion.
Viktor Szabo, a fund manager who focuses on emerging market debts at Abrdn in the UK and said “These guys were being innovative.”
A man sporting untied ribbon that shows the colors of Ukraine’s flag uses his smartphone in Barcelona in March. 1.
Kyiv used traditional channels to raise funds. About $4 billion in emergency funding from multilateral organizations, including the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, has already been received by Ukraine and another $2 billion is under negotiation.
It also makes use of the traditional war bonds that can be issued by government during conflicts to get support from the citizens. They can be helpful to combat inflation as they ensure that cash is available during times of typically a shortage.
In March, Ukraine raised $1 billion by five local currency bonds sales. Butsa noted that there was a significant demand from both institutions and also from individuals. The funds are then transferred to the pot of the government to pay for expenses such as emergency services or pensions.
Butsa has stated that there are many people who invest either $10,000 or $5,000 worth of this instrument.
It is important to be cautious about buying bonds in the moment of uncertainty. One-year notes from the month of December yielded 11.1 percent. This is a sign of the high risk of these bonds. It is not possible to guarantee repayment in the event of Zelensky’s administration falling or is exiled or the Ukrainian economy is destroyed by a prolonged war.
S&P Global Ratings reduced its rating of Ukraine’s credit shortly following the war. The report stated that although the international community is expected to help Ukraine with its financing needs for the next 12 months, there is the risk of “governance interruptions” that could result in commercial debt servicing being at risk.
Butsa said that the Ukrainian government was working 24 hours a day with its bankers to come up with the new bond of $1 that could be sold overseas. Many investors from abroad want to invest in Kyiv but are unable to do so due to capital controls which make it impossible for them to receive any dividends in Ukraine’s currencies.
“Our intention is to offer an instrument through which anyone who wishes to support Ukraine who is in the US and has an account with the local financial institutions, could effortlessly support us,” Butsa said. His team is also exploring possible options in conjunction with the European Union.
Professional investors, who are required to protect their clients’ funds and support Ukraine could be cautious about lending money to Ukraine in the present.
“We shouldn’t invest in an investment where we see [a] very high likelihood of that money not getting returned,” Szabo said, though he added that he believes the market will be attractive once the war has ended.
The crypto angle
Options for financing that don’t require borrowing are attractive because Ukraine is wary about dramatically growing its debt load.
Butsa declared, “We don’t wish to be in a position where the war goes into the stage of reconstruction and we spend more on the credit service than we spend on rebuilding infrastructure.”
That’s where donations to crypto and NFT sales could help. Ukraine is encouraging citizens to donate bitcoins as well as other currencies via official social media accounts for several weeks. This has allowed the government to gain access to many small-scale donors who do not have to be concerned about complex transactions or conversion of currency.
Chainalysis disclosed the CNN Business that Kyiv raised about $56 million worth of crypto funds as of March 28. The amount was an average donation of $30. Alex Bornyakov was Ukraine’s deputy Minister of Digital Transformation. He said that the funds were used to buy bulletproof vests. helmets. walkie-talkies. and even medicine.
During the protests against the Russian invasion of Ukraine the crowd gathers in front of a large Ukrainian flag outside the White House on Feb. 24 in 2017.
An NFT of the Ukraine’s flag was sold by UkraineDAO. The initiative was supported by a participant of the Russian activist group Pussy Riot. It raised more than $6.7 Million .
This week saw the officially launched NFT sale that signified the beginning of a brand new phase. The supporters from all over the world bought digital photos created by local artists. The images incorporated vibrant imagery and artifacts of war like tweets.
Kevin Lista Navarro (26-year-old financial advisor from Barcelona), has donated in the past to aid people in need from Ukraine. https://adahsrt519.wordpress.com/2022/04/28/war-bonds-nfts-and-crypto-what-are-they-ukraine-can-finance-its-defense/ was still awed by the NFT auction and purchased two items.
“Thanks to this technology, you now can contribute to the cause and also receive in return a piece of commemorative artwork,” he said. “Who knows what these might be worth in future?”
Kamlish Cohen Bentata and Cohen Cohen London team that developed the FAIR.xyz sales platform was employed for the project — were hired after cold-emailing people in Ukraine about the NFT project. For the past two-and a half weeks they’ve been involved in late-night work and on adrenaline in order to start the project.
Bentata added, “It has been really crazy.”
Kamlish stated that, even though there was plenty of traffic to the website the site was able to function smoothly.
Jacobs of Scenius Capital remarked, “How Ukraine has really turned to cryptocurrency as a way to gain support from the financial sector… it shows that governments can use crypto and NFT tech as an alternative to rebelling simply because it’s new and scary.”