It’s been already more than a month since Russia has invaded Ukraine to commit unspeakable atrocities—and the whole world seems to have come to aid. The horizontal, decentralized structure of web3 looks perfect for p2p efforts. To The Moon sums up the most noticeable campaigns and tallies up the amount of money the web3 community has raised for the Ukrainian people.
Web3 community is no stranger to sudden plot twists, and many of its members are used to acting quickly amidst turmoil and uncertainty. So it's no wonder web3 was quicker to begin helping Ukraine fend off the Russian invasion and mitigate the unveiling humanitarian crisis than most European governments.
To the Ukrainian government's credit, their young, dynamic cabinet members were quick to jump on board with setting up and maintaining the infrastructure needed for the uninterrupted flow of aid. The president's office was quick to legalize cryptocurrencies, and the Ministry for Digital Transformation worked with all major exchanges. They promptly set up a dedicated government web page to accept donations in all major currencies.
So, well over $160 million was raised in the month since the start of the war, along with the NFT of CryptoPunk #5364, worth over $200,000.
Let's see which notable web3 personalities were able to help.
0. Meta History and $500K
A team of Ukrainian NFT activists has put together a collection of artwork in memory of various key moments of conflict. In agreement with the country's Ministry of Digital Transformation they minted NFTs and sold them to donate the proceeds, over $500,000 of it to the war effort.
1. Epic Game and $140+ million
Some people say web3 is all about hype but damn, hype comes pretty handy when a country under attack needs help and attention! Thus thought Epic Games, the company behind the world's most hyped multi-player game Fortnite when it donated money and added all of its proceeds from March 20 through April 3 to four UN-affiliated organizations that send medical aid to the conflict zone in Ukraine.
2. Gavin Wood and $5.8 million
Polkadot creator and Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood gave a massive boost to the Ukrainian war effort by donating $5.8 million. The gift came in the form of 298,367 DOT coins, prompting the authorities to add DOT to the government page that lists all the ways to donate.
3. Endaoment and $750K
Obviously, the war in Ukraine is not the first time the web3 crowd is trying to fund a noble cause, and the existing money-raising platform came just as useful. A public support fund was promptly launched on Endaoment, raising over $700,000 so far. The proceeds are set to be distributed equally among 7 funds that help Ukraine in various humanitarian ways – a good option for the less blood-thirsty of us.
4. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and $7 million
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is a Russian artist known for her role in Pussy Riot whose claim to fame was loudly and repeatedly asking Virgin Mary to chase Putin away from the top of the main altar of the biggest cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. Intimate knowledge of the Russian security apparatus put her unequivocally on the Ukrainian side of the conflict. She joined the effort of PleasrDAO and TrippyLabs to create UkraineDAO which attracted over 3,000 contributors who chipped in to the tune of $7 million.
5. RELI3F and $1 million
Andrew Wang did post a speed record of a sort, when his DAO initiative RELI3F, which brought together 37 artists, many of them from Ukraine, sold out in 30 seconds, raising over $1 million in ETH. The project has its own Twitter account; however, it's been a while since they posted anything. Wang himself seems to have returned to posting exclusively about NFTs.
6. Gitcoin and $1 million
A who’s who crowd of web3 activists joined Gitcoin’s mid-March GR13 initiative that included over $1 million in donations to support Ukraine. Algorand, ENS, OlympusDAO, Open Gaming, OpenSea, NounsDAO, Polygon, Radicle, Uniswap, and ZK Tech have all offered matching donations. A sort of Patreon for the web3 era, Gitcoin was originally designed to raise money to support open source projects. It now seems to be looking to expand its efforts to cover other noble goals.
7. Vitalik Buterin and $5 million
Ethereum Co-Founder Vitalik Buterin donated 1,500 ETH (~$5 million at the moment of transfer) to two separate entities: 750 ETH to Ukraine's official crypto wallet and another 750 ETH to Unchain Fund, a charity project created by blockchain activists.
8. Dancing Pallbearers and $500K
Dancing Pallbearers, a Ghanaian group of pallbearers known for an internet video meme, showing pallbearers dancing with the coffin, sold the popular video as an NFT for 327 ETH (~$1 million at the moment of the sale).
Out of that sum, $250,000 went to Come Back Alive, a Ukrainian non-governmental organization that emerged to help the Ukrainian military, and another $250,000 to a Ukrainian marketing agency. The remaining $500,000 went to Dancing Pallbearers.
9. Reli3f and $1.5 million
Reli3f, a humanitarian aid initiative founded by the Web3 community, has raised over $1.5 million by selling NFTs, Cointelegraph has learned.
Web3 enthusiasts, including Andrew Wang, Aleksandra Artamonovskaja, Raskalov, and others have brought together the artworks of over 60 artists across the world to sell them as digital collectibles for social good.
The team has reportedly already sent over 46 ETH each to Razom Ukraine, Serhiy Prytula Foundation, Valery Sozanovsky Headquarters, and CEO Club, according to transaction data of the Gnosis multi-sig wallet. Another 40 ETH was also equally distributed between Outright Action International and Web3 For Africans in Ukraine.
Bonus: not a web3 guy but couldn’t be left aside. Stepan the cat and $10,000
Stepan the cat, known to anyone who’s in love with TikTok or still on Instagram, started his Monday by casually raising $10,000 to help a few animal welfare charities and a zoo in Mykolaiv, a city heavily affected by aerial attacks.
Cats and celebrities aside, the war continues, and innocent people are dying every day. Any single one of us can’t stop it but together, we just may. Please consider donating to one of the efforts listed in this article, or help the Ukrainian people directly by donating on the official government website. Before doing so, please take all necessary precautions like verifying the authenticity of the website’s SSL certificate.