Ukraine converts crypto contributions into 5,550 protective jackets and 500 helmets, and more

As bitcoin contributions poured into Ukraine, the government converted them into thousands of protective jackets, packed lunches, medical equipment, and other supplies for the armed forces.

Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation, Alex Bornyakov, released a list of products purchased since March 1 using monies raised via those cryptocurrency contributions on Friday. There are 5,550 protective jackets, 410,000 packed lunches, and 500 helmets included in the shipment.

“Crypto assets have been incredibly beneficial in facilitating money flows to Ukraine’s Armed Forces,” said Bornyakov, who has led the country’s efforts to protect cryptocurrencies.

Since Ukraine’s first fundraising call, up to $100 million in cryptocurrencies has been contributed. Along with other sorts of digital currency, the government acquired non-fungible tokens (NFTs), most notably CryptoPunk #5364, which traded for tens of thousands of dollars last year.

By last Friday, at least $15 million of those funds had been spent, Bornyakov told Bloomberg. Additionally, the minister informed CoinDesk that certain weapons vendors were taking direct cryptocurrency payments.

“Obviously, we cannot purchase nuclear weapons or missiles,” Michael Chobanian, CEO of Ukrainian exchange, told the Washington Post. Ukraine’s early use of cryptocurrency has garnered considerable interest.

Following Russia’s incursion into Ukrainian territory, government authorities appealed for cryptocurrency contributions and shared addresses on social media. And, in the face of multiple nations’ economic sanctions against Russia, Ukrainian politicians have attempted to coerce cryptocurrency exchanges into barring Russian accounts.

In the United States, politicians and regulatory agencies have expressed worry about the possibility of crypto being used to circumvent sanctions, however there have been no conclusive indicators of this sort of conduct to far.

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