Ukraine is Using Bitcoin to Crowdfund Russian War

Ukrainian paramilitary groups have been fighting Russian-sponsored forces in the eastern part of country at varying levels of intensity since the 2014 Russian invasion. But only recently have these groups begun to fund themselves with bitcoin donations, according to a Tuesday analysis published by blockchain analytics firm Elliptic.

The report says that Ukrainian groups are emulating techniques that the Russians have employed since the start of the war, when it launched online campaigns to raise money for pro-Russian seperatists in Eastern Ukraine, often using cryptocurrencies. 

Iran is using Bitcoin mining as a way to monetise its energy reserves, while North Korea is believed to be stealing cryptocurrency to support its missile development program, the report said.

“Some of the Ukrainian volunteer groups and NGOs accepting crypto donations have very close links to the Ukrainian government — and this adds to a trend of nation states turning to cryptocurrency as a means of raising funds,” the report says. 

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