An NFT of Ukraine’s flag has raised over $6.7 million for the country’s defenses as cryptocurrency donations continue to flood in following the Russian invasion.


Organized by UkraineDAO, an initiative backed by a member of the Russian activist group and feminist punk band Pussy Riot, the sale saw thousands of users bid for a share of the digital image.
The fundraiser comes just days after Ukraine’s government announced via Twitter that it is now accepting cryptocurrency donations. The country’s vice prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, has also called for online contributions while urging cryptocurrency exchanges to block Russian users.


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NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, allow buyers to prove ownership of a virtual asset — in this case, a digital version of Ukraine’s blue and yellow flag. Although the NFT was produced as a single edition on the Ethereum blockchain, bidders were able to take shared ownership of the item, with contributions ranging from 0.00001 ether (under $0.03) to 44 ether ($128,000), according to a listing on NFT sale platform Partybid.


The sale attracted over 3,200 individual contributions in 72 hours, amounting to just over 2,258 ether (equivalent to about $6.7 million at the time the auction concluded on Wednesday). Organizers said all the funds will go towards “Come Back Alive,” a campaign supporting Ukraine’s military.
Donors will receive tokens proportional to the size of their contribution. Like shareholders, they will be able to vote on future sales of the NFT, although UkraineDAO said it hoped to “discourage” people from trading shares and urged owners to keep them “as a reminder of our world’s ongoing humanitarian needs.”


The NFT sale was co-organized by Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova, seen here performing in New York City last week.


The NFT sale was co-organized by Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova, seen here performing in New York City last week.


According to UkraineDAO’s website, its members had considered creating unique artworks but decided that its choice of NFT “should be a symbol of the Ukrainian people rather than focused on a particular artist or aesthetic.”


Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova, who collaborated with NFT platform CXIP, digital art studio Trippy Labs and online collective PleasrDAO — said in a statement that the Ukrainian flag “unites us.”
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“We purposefully avoided adding our own art to this release; in a way it’s our strong conceptual artistic statement,” said Tolokonnikova, who is among Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most outspoken critics. “People can have different aesthetics, but it’s not about what color we prefer, it’s about uniting to save lives.”


Cryptocurrency has emerged as a major source of financial support for Ukraine’s government as Russia ramps up its assaults on key cities. Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, which is tracking cryptocurrency donations made to both Ukraine’s government and NGOs supporting the country’s military, has recorded over 72,000 transactions worth around $47 million as of Wednesday.


On its website, UkraineDAO said that a “revolution” could not be achieved with conventional currencies, as there are “too many ways for traditional funds to be intercepted or halted by traditional institutions, governments, and other factions with intent to control, harm, or simply shift funds without transparency.”

Source https://www.cnn.com/style/article/ukrainedao-pussy-riot-nft-flag-war-fundraising/index.html

By block head

Block Head is a blockchain journalist.