A recent report from blockchain analytics company Elliptic revealed that Ukrainian volunteer groups and non-government organizations (NGOs) received more than $570,000 in Bitcoin donations throughout 2021.
900% Increase From 2020
Interestingly, the total Bitcoin donations made to Ukrainian NGOs in 2021 represent a 900% increase from the previous year.
These volunteer groups emerged in 2014 to support protesters during the Maidan Revolution, which led to the removal of the pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych from power.
Following Yanukovych’s ousting, Russia invaded and annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine, which led to a civil war. Since then, the two neighboring countries have been in a state of war, and the volunteer groups have been supporting the Ukrainian military by providing weapons and medical supplies.
Donors Choose Crypto
According to Elliptic, these organizations receive donations from private individuals and entities via fiat and cryptocurrencies. However, in 2021, the groups received more Bitcoin donations compared to fiat, as the cryptocurrency allows donors to make contributions without restrictions.
“Bitcoin has also emerged as an important alternative funding method, allowing international donors to bypass financial institutions that are blocking payments to these groups,” the report stated.
The document further revealed that Come Back Alive, one of the largest non-government organizations supporting the Ukrainian Army, raised nearly $200,000 via Bitcoin donations in the second half of 2021.
Other volunteer groups like the Ukrainian Cyber Alliance and Cyber Partisans raised $100,000 and $84,000 respectively over the past year via crypto donations.
Mirotvorets, another group with strong ties to the Ukrainian government and law enforcement agencies, has raised over $268,000 through Bitcoin donations since it launched, the report said.
Crypto Donations on the Rise
Meanwhile, donating cryptocurrencies to volunteer groups and charity organizations is not a new concept.
In October 2020, the Feminist Coalition, an advocacy group in Nigeria, received over $165,000 via Bitcoin donations to support the fight against police brutality in the country.
In November 2021, CryptoPotato reported that Fidelity Charitable, the largest grantmaker in the United States, received more than $270 million in crypto donations last year, a 400% increase compared to 2017.