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Ukraine to introduce NFTs to raise money to support its armed forces

Ukraine to introduce NFTs to raise money to support its armed forces

Ukraine is to issue its own collection of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) to help fund its armed services in the wake of the Russian invasion.

The vice prime minister of Ukraine, Mykhailo Fedorov, recently shared the news on Twitter, stating that they will soon announce the launch of a line of NFTs to support their armed forces. This came after the decision to appeal for cryptocurrency donations.

While they are still relying on support packages from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the Ukrainian government is also looking towards more modern ways to raise money.

NFTs, which are pieces of collectable digital artwork fixed to a blockchain to ensure they can’t be replicated, had a global market worth $41 billion in 2021 according to Business Insider.

The decentralised autonomous organisation, Ukraine DAO, recently issued and sold an NFT of the Ukrainian flag, which raised 2,258 Ethereum (around $6.75 million at the time) for the Ukrainian war chest.

Nadya Tolokonnikova, a member of a Russian anarchist activism group, was instrumental in assisting with Ukraine DAO’s NFT launch. She explained that they were designed to show unity with Ukraine.

She said: “I personally was pushing for using the Ukrainian flag – it’s not about any specific artist or aesthetics, it’s a pure gesture of solidarity.

“We purposefully avoided adding our own art to this release; in a way, it’s our strong conceptual artistic statement. People can have different aesthetics, but it’s not about what colour we prefer, it’s about uniting to save lives. The Ukrainian flag unites us.”

The war-torn country has been appealing through their official Twitter account for cryptocurrency donations since the start of the invasion. Elliptic, a blockchain analysis company, have reported 118,000 donations to Ukraine since the start of the war.

Gavin Wood, the founder of British blockchain platform Polkadot and co-founder of Ethereum, even donated $5.8 million.

After raising nearly $50 million through cryptocurrency donations, the Ukrainian government decided to move to NFTs to raise funds instead.

While the launch of Ukrainian NFTs is already helping fund their military, some experts have warned that scammers may try to take advantage of the crisis.

Jake Moore, a cybersecurity expert from ESET, explained: “Scammers have been very quick to set up fake donation sites with the birth of NFTs, and this will be no different.

“In principle, this is another potentially lucrative avenue for people to help out in the crisis from around the world, but it comes with a heavy price tag if people are unaware of the many pitfalls in this relatively new technology.”

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