The Serhiy Prytula Charity Foundation, an organization raising money for Ukraine’s war effort against Russia, has used crypto actively in its fundraising and is seeing donations rise in crypto terms even as the market has fallen from its highs.
According to Roman Sinicyn, Military Coordinator for the Foundation, crypto has been embraced both as a convenient way for people to donate to them, and as a way for the Foundation itself to pay for various equipment that it then donates to Ukraine’s army.
Sinicyn told Cryptonews.com that the Prytula Foundation has raised more than USD 4.5m in crypto donations since the war started on February 24 this year.
Among the items the Foundation has purchased with the donated funds are drones, such as the Turkish-made Bayraktar, as well as Volkswagen minivans from Germany and equipment like night vision goggles.
Sinicyn explained that some of the equipment, including radios, night vision gear, and even cars, can be purchased with crypto directly, while the German-made minivans need to be paid with fiat after first exchanging crypto donations to fiat currency.
“In general, crypto is still rarely used for purchases, most suppliers want cash. But crypto is becoming more popular,we have our suppliers who specifically ask for the crypto: for drones in Estonia, for cars in Great Britain and Slovakia,” he said for Cryptonews.com.
Among the benefits of crypto, Sinicyn stated that crypto is convenient and that it makes the life of volunteers easier. He further explained that operating with crypto also saves time that would otherwise be spent on waiting for things like bank and government approvals, as well as paying bank fees.
“[W]hen you’re dealing with the help for the Army, timing is everything […] The sooner drones, night vision gadgets and cars arrive, the sooner they will end up at the frontline to save the lives of our military,” he said.
The cryptoassets that the non-profit has received include tether (USDT), bitcoin (BTC), and various Ethereum-based ERC-20 tokens.
The reason the Foundation got into crypto in the first place, according to Sinicyn, was that Serhiy Prytula, the Ukrainian TV presenter and politician who founded the Foundation, in March posted a message on Facebook for the crypto community where he asked whether anyone would like to donate in this way.
“We received good feedback from the crypto community in the form of a flow of donations in cryptocurrency for a couple of hundred thousand dollars,” Sinicyn said. He added that the largest crypto donation they have received so far was a USD 1.8m gift from British-Ukrainian investor and entrepreneur Maksym Polyakov, owner of the private rocket maker Firefly Aerospace.
“Crypto in Ukraine is not regulated by law, it is not monitored, but it is not prohibited,” Sinicyn said, before finally adding that crypto now “helps to do many good things for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”