After initially rejecting crypto donations, Ukraine will now accept donations in bitcoin, ether and USDT, according to the country's official Twitter account.
The country’s military had said it could not accept crypto for legal reasons, a prohibition that still appears on the Ministry of Defense’s Ukrainian-language website. Instead, people with crypto donated to Come Back Alive, a nonprofit that supports the Ukrainian military, which has been taking bitcoin. Ukraine's tweet listed a crypto wallet address that is distinct from Come Back Alive's address.
As of Saturday morning, Ukraine has received about 9.9 bitcoin (roughly $390,000) and about 117 ether (about $320,000) as well as a small amount of other crypto coins.
Ukraine has been moving to protect digital currency transactions from fraud or abuse. Earlier this month, the country's parliament passed a bill legalizing crypto, although it still does not recognize bitcoin or other forms of crypto as legal tender. By contrast, Russia can't decide whether to ban or regulate crypto.
The information war and the crypto war are colliding.
"To those who want to help in bitcoin. Bitcoin is officially legit in Ukraine — just like this account and this retweet. Don’t mind the comments of our Russian ‘brothers,’" Olexander Scherba, a longtime Ukrainian diplomat, tweeted Saturday.
Ukraine apparently deleted its first post announcing the country would take crypto. "Stand with the people of Ukraine as we defend ourselves against Russian aggression," the now-deleted tweet read. Its second post simply reads: "Stand with the people of Ukraine." A few minutes later, Ukraine tweeted, "Sorry the team is exhausted without sleep, we make mistakes in tweets & tweet them again."