The Russian invasion of Ukraine is still ongoing after 3 months of brutal bloodshed resulting in 3000+ death casualties. Russia has crushed the Ukrainian businesses, destroyed power plants, sabotaged supply chains, and captured critical points within the country to block any external aid to the Kieve. On the other hand, Russia itself is facing severe financial sanctions from NATO and its allies.
Amidst these economically adverse situations, Ukraine’s NFT collection has caught the attention of the world. What are NFTs? How are they helping Ukraine to resist the Russian invasion? And how NFTs can be a pivot point for the Russia-Ukraine war? In the article ahead, we are going to answer these questions in detail and discuss how digital assets are being utilized by both countries to sustain their respective economies.
Non-Fungible Tokens or NFTs are unique digital assets on a blockchain that have distinguished metadata and properties that separates them from the rest of the assets present on the blockchain. NFTs represent artworks, music, photos, real-world assets, or anything that has an associated value. Each NFT is different in a unique way from the rest of the NFTs present in the world. NFTs are not different from cryptocurrencies and cannot be used as a mode of exchange due to a variance in their values. Their unique proposition and different values are not unified and thus can’t be used as an asset for commercial transactions.
However, the rise of NFTs is evident in the DeFi world. The present-day NFT market has crossed billions of USD and with the pace at this wave moving forward, the overall NFT revenue is only going to increase. NFTs are unique and have clear ownership associated with them. They are unreplicable, however, the ownership of these assets can be transferred from one user to the other user on the blockchain.
A war has been forced on Ukraine and in the past three months, Ukrainian defense forces are resisting the Russian invasion. This has engulfed almost all the financial resources of the Ukrainian government and caused heavy damage to public property. Even though Ukraine was getting aid from across the globe, an announcement from the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine caught the attention of the crypto world. In a tweet, Mykhailo Fedorov said –
“The new big update of @_AidForUkraine website. We’ve added the NFT section: now you can donate or buy NFTs. All funds as always will contribute to the Ukrainian victory. Ready, steady, NFT”
— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) April 27, 2022
This is when Ukrain invited NFT donations from the world to support its war efforts and provide humanitarian aid to those who need it the most. With this announcement, Ukraine started getting donations in NFTs from different corners of the world.
A New York-based visual artist Olive Allen burned her Russian passport, recorded its video, and used it to create an NFT which was sold and raised money donated to the AidForUkraine funds. Other donations such as from Artem Humilevskiy, a Ukrainian photographer, who sold one of his photograph’s NFT for 1.25 ETH.
As a result of this mass Web3 campaign, the Ukrainian government was able to raise over $57 million which is proposed to be spent on providing shelter to Ukrainian refugees, healthcare for soldiers, and other humanitarian causes.
Apart from receiving massive crypto and NFT contributions from all around the world, as many as 200 Ukrainian digital artists came together to support the AidForUkraine. These artists not only donated their pre-made NFTs to the Ukrainian government but also created new NFTs to raise their voices against the Russian atrocities.
All the digital works received as a donation to the Ukrainian government were showcased in an online gallery named ‘Meta War History’. This gallery was used to auction those NFTs from a base price of $500 or 0.5 ETH and has been able to raise over $1,447,056 for supporting the Ukrainian military. Meta War History has a bold and clear aim to record the Russian war horrors and raise a voice against Putin.
“WE WILL NEVER LET ANY SINGLE DAY OF THIS PERIOD DISAPPEAR FROM THE LEDGER OF WORLD HISTORY.” – Metahistory. gallery
Apart from that Ukraine DAO raised $6.7+ million under the Ukrainian Flag. Ukraine DAO believes that a revolution against the aggressive powers such as Russia can only rise through decentralized finance as there are too many ways to suppress the traditional Fiat.
Apart from the catastrophic invasion from Russia, Ukraine had to face multiple challenges that could be solved by funding. Promised international aid to Ukraine might take months before being granted and Ukraine could not wait. At that point in time, these DeFi projects took the baton and raised funds for those who needed it the most.
Started by the AI foundation, Ukraine MKMRE is playing a crucial role in generating support and aid for those who need immediate care and attention amidst the warzone. MKRMRE is the acronym for “Medical Kits and Meals Ready-to-Eat” which explains the purpose of the project. These ready-to-deliver humanitarian aids gained attention around the world and Ukraine MKMRE was able to raise over half a million USD in funds. With an aim to supply over 100,000 MKMRE to the needy, Ukraine MKMRE is becoming major support for Ukraine against the Russian atrocities.
Holy water has been the biggest collection of NFTs by Ukrainian artists. This collection was able to raise more than a million USD to facilitate the Ukrainian resistance by giving it to the Ukraine Ministry of Digital Transformation. With over 1000 digital artists, Holy water has become the epitome of strength and unity among artists of the world.
#WithUkraine is another amazing initiative by Team Altar wallet whose developers and artists worked towards lending a helping hand to the Ukrainian people. #WithUkraine devs and artists are collaborating to create a ‘Meta Museum of Ukrainian Glory’ that will become a hub of voices from around the world that are against the war atrocities and stand for peace. #WithUkraine collectively sold NFTs to fund their project and create an impact that the world can witness.
All of us are witnessing a steep surge in the adoption of cryptocurrency as a cross-border currency. With the internet reaching even the remotest areas of the world, the scale of this adoption is only going to increase. However, crypto has been on the central stage of DeFi for a long period of time and that stage is growing big enough to accommodate new trends and developments. In the Ukraine-Russia war, we could witness the rise of NFTs as a driving force for resistance and revolt against the Russian war atrocities. This rise does not seem to be a mere trend and gives a strong single about the scope of NFTs in the upcoming future.
The Ukrainian government has been able to harness the sentiments of the people across the world and took a step forward by accepting donations in cryptocurrencies and NFTs. This could be a case study for other nations and can become the reason for the mass recognition of NFTs.