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Crypto donations soar to groups backing Ukraine's government: Report

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LONDON: Bitcoin donations have soared to Ukrainian volunteer and hacking groups, some of which have supplied equipment to government forces, according to a report showing such groups received more than US$550,000 worth of cryptocurrency in 2021.The report, published on Tuesday by blockchain researcher Elliptic, suggests digital currencies are growing in importance as a funding method for volunteer groups backing Ukraine's government as fears of an attack by Russian troops massed near its border grow.

Moscow denies planning an attack.Cryptocurrency worth just $6,000 was raised by the groups in 2020, Elliptic said.Cryptocurrencies can be sent and received anonymously, allowing organisations to raise money even if financial firms do not allow - or impose strict checks on - transfers of funds."Cryptocurrency has proved to be a robust and growing alternative (to traditional currency) - especially when it comes to donations from other countries," Elliptic said.In 2020, Ukraine tightened checks to curb money laundering, demanding ID verification for some domestic cash transfers.

Cross-border transfers are also subject to mandatory monitoring, according to the Ukrainian National Bar Association.Elliptic tracks the movement of cryptocurrency on the blockchain for financial firms and government agencies.

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