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Ukraine to sell NFTs to fund war costs

·3-min read
A wpman walks past a cryptocurrency exchange point in the center of Kyiv, Ukraine on 24 January 2022. Bitcoin dropped below $34 000, to six-month low, as fears of war in Ukraine shake stock markets, according to media. (Photo by STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A woman walks past a cryptocurrency exchange point in Kyiv. Bitcoin dropped below $34 000, to six-month low, as fears of war in Ukraine shake stock markets, according to media. Photo: STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Ukraine is to issue non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to fund its armed forces as Russian military might presses ever closer to Kyiv.

The Ukrainian government has become increasingly supportive of donations via cryptocurrency to fund its defence efforts against Putin's onslaught.

Total donations via cryptocurrency to the government's official digital wallet increased to over $50m (£38m) in the past week.

Now, Ukraine is to deploy NFTs in its latest crypto-related funding drive.

Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s vice-prime minister, announced on Twitter on Thursday that the government would issue NFTs to help pay for its military operations.

Fedorov tweeted: "Every day there are more and more people willing to help Ukraine to fight back the aggression.

"We will announce NFTs to support Ukrainian Armed Forces soon."

Read more: Boy George turns ‘Crypto-Chameleon’ as he embraces NFTs and metaverse

He added that there were no plans as yet for a Ukrainian government issued fungible token, such as bitcoin and ethereum.

NFTs are a new concept recently spawned within the cryptocurrency ecosystem that offer the ability to sell digital certificates of ownership for unique assets.

Typically these assets come in the form of digital paintings, film clips or even physical items that can be tokenised.

WATCH: Ukraine government cancels crypto airdrop, plans NFTs instead

The premier NFT marketplaces are OpenSea, Rarible and Nifty Gateway, however, it is not currently known which will be used to sell the NFTs issued by the Ukrainian government.

The global NFT market has soared throughout the last year, starting 2021 with a market capitalisation of approximately $68m to now reach a current value of $17bn.

The Ukrainian government's NFT announcement is the latest signal that Kyiv is willing to embrace digital assets to fund its war efforts.

The government's official Twitter account has stated it is willing to "accept cryptocurrency donations, bitcoin, ethereum and USDT" in its plea to the international community.

So far, two official cryptocurrency wallet addresses have been set up by the Ukrainian government to collect donations in bitcoin, ethereum and other tokens.

Fintech lender Nexo is an example of a funding project that encourages cryptocurrency donations to be sent to Ukraine from abroad.

For the next month, Nexo has pledged to match 100% of all customer donations from Nexo wallets to the official wallet address of the Ukrainian government.

These donations can be in bitcoin, ethereum, tether, polkadot and nexo will match the donation up to a total of $500,000.

The news comes as the lead singer of Russian protest punk rock and performance art group Pussy Riot, Nadya Tolokonnikova, helped launch an NFT of the Ukrainian flag with all proceeds from the crypto sale to go to Come Back Alive.

The charity will distribute supplies to Ukrainian civilians and the army. On Wednesday, the NFT of the Ukrainian flag sold for $6.75m.

The embattled administration in Kyiv has also raised more than £200m from the sale of war bonds throughout the week.

But, in this tragic conflict that has seen rising casualties on both sides, it appears one of the few to benefit may be the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

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