As most of you probably already know, thousands of people were displaced when Russia’s military forces invaded Ukraine.
Since then, the crypto and NFT communities have quickly rallied together in response. According to nftnow.com, they’ve formed plans to raise funds for aiding individuals in the war-torn country. The work of all these individuals will hopefully help people in need and give them some much needed financial support.
NFT PROJECTS FOR UKRAINIAN RELIEF
A large number of people have created Twitter threads and Google spreadsheets that compile a list of Ukrainian artists to support. However, they aren’t just supporting artistic individuals in their pursuit for financial aid. Several noteworthy NFT projects are also being created by large communities to raise funds for Ukraine.
Here’s a list of some of those projects:
TimePieces’ Artists for Peace
Time magazine announced the launch of their “Artists for Peace” NFT collection through TimePieces, their web3 community effort. It’s an NFT auction on Opensea.io with 59 artists, and 100% of the revenues will go to help the humanitarian and relief operations in Ukraine. In order to maximize the amount of funds raised for those in need, the company declared that it would receive no royalties on both primary and secondary sales.
On Feb. 25, the Russian Art collective Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova, NFT Studio “Trippy Labs”, and members from the influential investment group “PleasrDAO” came together to create UkraineDAO. For those of you who don’t know, DAO stands for “decentralized autonomous organization”, and consist of a group of people who work together to achieve a common goal by following a specific set of rules, governed by code. Consequently, these rules are incredibly stringent, since they are enforced by a blockchain and cannot be violated.
The group seeks to accept crypto donations, in addition to selling NFTs, to raise funds for their cause. According to coindesk.com, they’ve already raised over $3 million in Ethereum-based tokens. UkraineDAO has also teamed up with the Ukrainian government itself to raise funds for staving off the Russian invasion.
Similarly, another group initiative calling themselves “RELI3F” has also created a call to action for helping the Ukrainian cause. The project, which is led by a group of crypto-artists and famous NFT influencers, has launched a large-scale NFT sale, including pieces from 37 different artists.
Artists such as Danny Cole, Vinnie Hager, Sartoshi, Super Gremplin, Hawkward, Ravi Vora, Arial Jade, and others are among those who are a part of the project. All proceeds from the fundraiser go straight to Ukraine’s relief programs. The project sold out in less than 30 seconds after its first debut, raising over a million dollars.
“Stand with Ukraine” NFTs
According to beincrypto.com, Ikonia, a digital platform originating in Kyiv and Gothenburg, will also sell NFTs to help with Ukrainian financial efforts. They will sell 43,287,512 NFTs, one for each Ukrainian citizen, at $10 each. 100% of the earnings will go to one of three Ukrainian charitable foundations that Ikonia has approved. The buyer gets to choose which organizations receive their money.
Each edition of the “Stand with Ukraine” NFT was made in partnership with Felipe Posada, a Colombian/New York-based artist who created some of the pieces for free. Patrik Arnesson, CEO of Ikonia, commented on the collection saying, “If every NFT is purchased, we will raise over $430 million for those in need. We are calling on the global NFT community and NFT projects – the likes of Bored Apes, Cryptopunks, Doodles, and others – to join hands and pledge to donate proceeds to this beautiful country in its darkest hour.”
NFTS AND CRYPTO – TRANSCENDING BOUNDARIES
Shortly after Arnesson asked for help from big name NFT holders, something good happened. According to coinquora.com, the owner of CryptoPunk #5364 donated the NFT to the Ukrainian government in order to help their efforts. Estimates say that the CryptoPunk commands a price that’s between $200,000 and $233,000. This just goes to show how much people can care for one another, even across country borders.
One of the main benefits for using crypto, NFTs, and decentralized finance to raise funds is that they have the ability to get around obstacles like economic sanctions. The funds also can’t be frozen in the ways centralized transactions can. These attributes are especially important during difficult times such as military conflicts.
If people want to donate to others in military conflict zones through traditional finance avenues, they usually have to ask their economic institution (bank), country, and/or donation platform if it’s fine. Most of the time, banks and donation platforms don’t want to get involved. Patreon banned UkraineDAO from receiving funds on their platform because they were essentially asking for military funds.
However, decentralized finance allows people to get around the whims of established financial institutions and give directly to the people that need the money the most. What we see now is cryptocurrencies becoming a significant component of global fundraising efforts.
Crypto is doing exactly what it was designed to do – giving people options outside of established financial institutions – and there’s no sign of that changing anytime soon.