CoinDesk: Inside a Fund Raising Millions in Crypto for Besieged Ukraine

The Unchain fund has raised $1.8 million and plans to launch a DAO this week, even as team members live with sirens, explosions and artillery barrage following the Russian invasion.

 

  • The situation in Ukraine is getting more and more bleak, but people are bracing to fight on, and the crypto community is ramping up its own arsenal, too.
  • After Russia invaded Ukraine, Andriy Velikiy would look out his window at night and count the lights in the windows of nearby buildings. Around 90% of them stayed black.
  • The cryptocurrency entrepreneur‘s apartment building faced Kyiv’s Maidan Square. Normally full of people, it’s empty and silent now, except for the sirens blaring from time to time.
  • Some of his friends chose to leave the city when they could. Others are now fighting the invading Russian forces on the frontlines.

 

“I chose to stay somewhere in between. I’ll stay here in my apartment and protect my family here,” Velikiy, a member of a local shooting club, told CoinDesk on Monday. “And if things get worse – [I] will go to the frontlines.” On Tuesday, he posted on Facebook that he had left Kyiv with his family.

 

  • Velikiy wears several hats. He is the CEO of Apyswap Foundation and co-founder of Allbridge, a startup working on cross-chain integrations and building bridges between blockchains. Many of his employees have moved to the western part of Ukraine, a bit farther from Russian tanks and rockets than Kyiv.
  • He’s also a key member of the team behind the Unchain fund – a vehicle raising money to buy food, clothing, medicine, evacuation and repairs for civilians and everything but weapons for the army. Unchain accepts donations to multi-signature wallets on the Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, Polygon, Harmony, Avalanche, Near and Celo networks.
  • The project is one of several ways the Ukrainian crypto community has spontaneously coordinated fundraising attempts during a conflict that has killed hundreds of civilians and stoked fears of a new Cold War between Russia and the West.

 

Ukraine has been a significant tech hub for the global blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, with multiple developers and validators either coming from Ukraine or physically based there. For example, a notable number of Tezos validators, Solana Labs developers, and developers and validators for NEAR Protocol had been based in Ukraine, Kaplan said.

Read more about Unchain fund that unites multiple crypto projects and other projects via CoinDesk

 

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  • Come Back Alive is one of the largest charitable foundations that supports Ukrainian soldiers, founded by the IT specialist Vitaliy Deynega. The organization collected more than 210 million UAH (more than $7M) in 2014. According to Na chasi, the Patreon page Come Back Alive is in the top ten projects by the number of financial donations.
  • Army SOS, which develops drones;
  • Everybody Can, an organization that supports internally displaced people;
  • Help on the Ministry of Defense website.
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