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How Ukraine finance its defense using NFTs, war bonds and crypto

The focal point of the most recent fundraising effort was a small office located above the head of a London baker.

Isaac Kamlish was joined by Nathan Cohen and Isaac Bentata, aged 23-25. They gathered together with their laptops earlier in the week and launched the first-ever auction of one-of-a-kind digital items at a national government.
Within 24 hours, Kyiv made use of a technology created by the trio sold over 1,200 non-fungible tokens which are also known as NFTs. They raised about $600,000 to help fund its defense against Russia.
This auction, which makes novel utilization of blockchain technology to act as a lever of wartime financing, underscores how Ukraine's government is using both new and traditional tools to generate the cash it requires to get through the crisis.
NFT supported by PussyRiot member helps raise $6.7 Million for Ukraine

One approach is to go back to the past. Kyiv has collected around $1 billion in war bonds sold to people and institutions in Ukraine, as residents show a willingness to lend to the government, even though it's uncertain if they'll be able to get all the money back.
President Volodymyr Zelensky's administration has been encouraging potential donors across the globe to make direct transfers of crypto, an effort that's raised over $56 million, according to the analytics firm Chainalysis. The NFT auction on Wednesday saw people all over Los Angeles to Barcelona rush to participate in what they considered to be an important moment for Ukraine as well as the cryptocurrency world.
"The Ukraine war was devastating and it will be remembered for a long time," stated Ben Jacobs co-founder of Scenius Capital an investor in digital assets company. "This use of crypto technology is also significant in its own right."
Jacobs who is in Venice Beach (California), purchased two NFTs. The total price was $1100, and included small fees. The Ukrainian government received about $1,000 in Ethereum, the cryptocurrency commonly used for NFTs sales.
A fundraising rush
People have been across Europe as well as the United States, and elsewhere to show their support for Ukraine. They've displayed yellow and blue flags on buildings, hosted local events, changed their avatars on the internet and showed their solidarity through social media.
Zelensky's team requires more than just words and gestures. Kyiv must have plenty of money to ensure its government is in operating and provide its army with the necessary equipment. According to could have cost Ukraine $565 billion. The GDP of the country for 2020 was $155 billion.
"Our fiscal gap" is higher than what we anticipated, Yuriy Butsa (Ukraine's commissioner for debt management), told CNN Business. He was talking about the gap between government revenues and government spending.
The government has launched an unprecedented effort to raise funds on an international scale in order to bridge this gap in the five weeks following Russia's invasion.
Viktor Szabo, a fund manager who focuses on emerging market debt at Abrdn in the UK and said "These people were very creative."
A man wearing the colors of the Ukrainian flag is using a smartphone in Barcelona on March. 1.

Kyiv relies on tried-and tested ways to raise cash. Ukraine has already received 4 billion dollars in emergency funding through multilateral institutions like the International Monetary Fund & World Bank. Another $2 billion is under discussion.
The company also utilizes the traditional war bonds that can be issued by government during conflict to draw support from citizens. They are useful in combating inflation since they remove cash from circulation during times when goods are in high demand.
Ukraine made about $1 billion from five auctions of local currency bonds in March. Butsa stated that there was a significant demand from both individuals and institutions. The proceeds are transferred to the pot of government and used to cover expenses like emergency services or pensions.
"There are of buyers of $10,000 and $5,000 of this instrument," Butsa said.
This is the reason why you should to take a leap of faith when purchasing bonds in current economic conditions. One-year notes last month's yield was 11%. This is a sign of the high risk of these bonds. Repayment is not guaranteed in the event that Zelensky's government is dissolved or sent into exile, and a long war damages the Ukrainian economy.
S&P Global Ratings dropped its Ukraine credit rating as soon as it learned of the war. It said that even though it believes the international community will help Ukraine in meeting its funding needs for the next twelve months, there is still the possibility of governance disruptions which could put commercial debt servicing at serious risk.
Butsa stated that Ukraine's government is currently working "24/7" with its bankers to create a new dollar bond which could be offered to investors from abroad, many of which are keen to support Kyiv but are held back by capital restrictions that stop them from obtaining profits in the currency of Ukraine, and other logistical problems.
Butsa stated that "our aim is to provide an instrument where anyone who needs support for Ukraine who is in the USA, having their account with local banks, will be able to help us." The team is also looking into options inside the European Union.
Professional investors, who are required to protect their clients' funds and support Ukraine may be wary about loaning money to Ukraine in the present.
Szabo stated, "We cannot invest into an asset where [a] high probability that that investment will not yield any returns is possible" however, he added that he was of the opinion that the market could be more appealing after the war ends.
The crypto angle is a key component of our work.
The attractiveness of options for financing that do not require borrowing is appealing as Ukraine isn't eager to expand the burden of its debt.
Butsa stated that "we don't want it to end up in the event that the war goes to a reconstruction phase paying more for the debt service than we do for the reconstruction infrastructure."
This is the area where NFT transactions and crypto donations can be helpful. Ukraine has been encouraging users on social media to donate bitcoins and other cryptocurrency for several weeks. The government has access to an extensive group of small contributors. They don't require complicated financial agreements to exchange currencies.
Chainalysis reported that Kyiv has raised $56 million in cryptocurrency with a median amount of $30. Alex Bornyakov, Ukraine's deputy minister of digital transformation declared earlier this month that the funds had been used to buy bulletproof helmets, vests as well as walkie-talkies.
In protest to the Russian invasion of Ukraine the crowd gathers in front of a massive Ukrainian flag in the vicinity of the White House on February 24.

A purchase by UkraineDAO of an NFT for the Ukraine's Flag which was also backed by a member Russian activist organization Pussy Riot raised more.
This week saw the official NFT sale that signified the beginning of a brand new phase. People from all over the world bought digital images created by local artists that combined colorful images with artifacts from the conflict, such as tweets.
Kevin Lista Navarro (26-year-old financial advisor from Barcelona) has made donations in the past to aid refugees from Ukraine. He was able to see the NFT auction as an opportunity to buy two.
"Thanks for this technology," he said. now you can have the chance to contribute to it and an engraved piece of artwork," he stated. "Who knows what these pieces of art could be worth in the near future."
Kamlish Cohen Bentata and Cohen -- the London team whose nascent sales platform was employed -- received the job after cold-emailing people in Ukraine regarding the NFT project. They've been in the game for two and a half weeks, running late at midnight and high on adrenaline to make sure that the platform is ready for launch.
Bentata added, "It has been really insane."
Kamlish stated that, even though there was plenty of visitors to the site however, the process went without a hitch.
Jacobs of Scenius Capital said, "How Ukraine really leaned to cryptocurrency as a method of garnering support financially... this shows the value of governments being more inclined towards crypto and NFT technological as opposed rebelling against that simply because its new and scary."

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