Crypto exchange Coinbase hosted a live Twitter space on March 7 to discuss the role of crypto assets in Ukraine amid the ongoing Russian invasion.
In this space, Coinbase chief policy officer Faryar Shirzad met Deputy Minister of the Ukrainian Ministry of Digital Transformation Alex Bornyakov.
Bornyakov answered a few inquiries about the use of cryptocurrency in this conflict. He said the Ukrainian government raised at least $60 million in cryptocurrency in the first few weeks of the invasion.
The deputy minister explained that most of the initial contributions were made in cryptocurrency because many governments had predicted that Ukraine would collapse within 96 hours.
Don’t miss our Twitter Spaces tomorrow at 12pm ET on how crypto has been an essential lifeline for Ukraine. Hosted by our Chief Policy Officer @faryarshirzad, we will be joined by @abornyakov, Ukraine Deputy Minister for Digital Transformation.https://t.co/RyhZnUssry
— Coinbase (@coinbase) March 6, 2023
When asked if Ukrainian officials were honest in reporting the cryptocurrency they received, Bornyakov asserted that blockchain technology offers transparency as people can find transaction details on the distributed ledger.
Another topic of discussion was whether or not Ukraine receives advice from other governments on utilising crypto assets. Bornyakov elaborated on how Ukraine had discussed with several foreign regulatory agencies how to manage and use crypto assets. He confirmed that Ukraine and its allies exchange data on the crypto market.
Bornyakov also noted that crypto was popular during the invasion’s early days, and this trend continues to this day among a sizable population. However, he maintained that the Ukrainian central bank limited crypto transactions for safety reasons. Crypto assets are also cut off from the traditional banking system due to the tech’s limitations.
Bornyakov insisted that the country would likely keep up its crypto push from before the war, continuing its central bank digital currency (CBDC) experiments and exploring alternative chains like Stellar.
Ukraine is not the only country using cryptocurrency during the conflict. According to a recent Chainalysis report, pro-Kremlin groups and propaganda outlets have raised about $5 million since the invasion began last year, with small grassroots organisations using cryptocurrency to avoid Western sanctions.