The crypto community has emerged as a major source of fundraising for the Ukrainian army and an NFT drop, made on Saturday, has raised over $3million USD.
Who would have thought NFTs, unique digital art collectibles, would so swiftly transcend the realms of art into worldwide consciousness? They have taken on a whole new significance in recent days as a drop of 10,000 Ukrainian flags, 1 of 1 NFTs minted on the Ethereum blockchain, was made in support of Ukraine.
UkraineDAO (Decentralised Autonomous Organisation), spearheaded by founder Alona Shevchenko and punk band activist Nadya Tolokonnikova, mobilized and made the drop in partnership with Trippy Labs and PleaserDAO.
“We purposefully avoided adding our own art to this release, in a way it’s our strong conceptual artistic statement,” Tolokonnikova said. “People can have different aesthetics, but it’s not about what color we prefer, it’s about uniting to save lives. The Ukrainian flag unites us.”
The Ukrainian flag has become a piece of digital art and a poignant symbol, which is uniting a growing number of anti-war sympathizers around the world.
Proceeds from the drop are all going towards the Ukrainian military effort via a charitable organization called Come Back Alive. This organization was set up in 2014 to support Ukrainian soldiers via crowdfunding.
As other forms of electronic banking falter in Ukraine, cryptocurrency has risen to the fore as an important source of funding for the military.
Nadya Tolokonnikova is utilizing her Web3 influence and in particular, NFTs, to mobilize the community. UkraineDAO continues to gather donations and lead a united front in support of the people of Ukraine and its army.
“Activism is the only reason I joined Web3,” said Tolokonnikova, a vocal critic of Vladimir Putin. “Now, when I’m so deeply ashamed of my government, I simply have to try to help Ukrainians.”
The UkraineDAO Twitter page reads: “Using the power of web3 tech and community to raise funds for Ukrainian organizations that are helping those suffering from the war in Ukraine”.
Tolokonnikova is a founding member of ‘Pussy Riot’, a band that originated in Moscow and have staged impromptu, secret gigs in the city, which were streamed live online.
The band have previously leveraged their influence online to make political statements against Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s policies as well as being staunchly in favor of LGBT rights.
Blockchains, in particular Ethereum, offer activists a transparent way to gather funds via a decentralized system, which is driven by the people who use it.
The Ukrainian government recently tweeted they were receiving cryptocurrency donations and have since been bombarded with support from the crypto community.