Decentralized staking platform — and ICON P-Rep — Everstake has partnered with crypto exchanges FTX and Kuna and the Ukrainian government’s Ministry of Digital Transformation to launch a donation website that lets users send cryptocurrency to the fundraising account of the National Bank of Ukraine.

The funds will be used to support humanitarian aid programs and the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the face of Russia’s invasion.

Anna Vareniuk, Community Manager at Everstake, was kind enough to answer a few questions we sent her way about this most extraordinary use of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

‘Can’t stand aside from what’s happening’

Everstake is a Ukraine-based company, so naturally enough, our first question was how they are holding up.

Thankfully, they are keeping safe. Prior preparations seem to be helping, too.

We are trying to stay strong and continue our operability,” says Anna. “We’ve been preparing beforehand, so most of our workers are relocated abroad or relocated to the safer parts of Ukraine. So, in general, everyone is safe and tries their best to fulfill the work.”

Being a Ukrainian company also gives Everstake plenty of motivation to get involved. Anna says the company “couldn’t stand aside from what happened and is happening in Ukraine.”

We cannot stand to see how the home of Everstake, Kyiv, is being bombed every day, and our people suffer,” she says. “So we came up with the idea to create a DAO with Solana team members and launch the fundraising campaign – Aid For Ukraine.”

Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation apparently endorsed several crypto fundraising initiatives. However, Everstake came up with the idea of a single site, a move the ministry supported. 

In a nutshell, Everstake acts as a “bridge” between the Ukrainian government and various blockchain teams taking part in the effort.

Everstake is one of the biggest validators in the blockchain industry, trusted by 625,000 users, and we have close connections with the different blockchain teams,” says Anna. “In this case, Everstake serves as a kind of ‘bridge’ between the Ukrainian government and these blockchain teams.”

‘The only fast and flexible way to support Ukraine’

Crypto does offer distinct advantages in a fundraising effort such as this.

In particular, it offers people a way to offer help to Ukraine in a fast and efficient way.

Simply donate crypto to the wallets of the Ministry of Digital Transformation, which gives it to FTX to convert into fiat that goes to the National Bank of Ukraine.

The National Bank of Ukraine is currently the only institution in Ukraine handling currency transactions abroad due to the current state of martial law in the country.

According to Everstake, this marks the first-ever instance of a cryptocurrency exchange directly cooperating with a public financial entity to provide a conduit for crypto donations.

Given the circumstances Ukraine faces, any process that saves time also potentially saves lives.

For now, crypto has become the only fast and flexible way to support Ukraine,” says Anna. “The main advantage of crypto is that it helps avoid tons of bureaucracy.”

Crypto fundraising is also a secure means to lend a hand.

As for the risk, it is minimal as we work with the official government structures of Ukraine,” says Anna. “Here we want to express our words of appreciation to the FTX team and Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX, for helping us to convert crypto into fiat.”

The crypto community has already responded in a big way, donating more than USD 85 million to Ukraine, with over USD 55 million going to the official accounts of Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation.

Major names in the crypto space like Gavin Wood, co-founder of Ethereum and creator of Polkadot, have donated, further mobilizing the community.

Anna jokes, “We’re waiting for Elon Musk to donate his DOGE.”

More seriously, she says it’s critical for the crypto community to act together.

We appreciate every donation made by the crypto or non-crypto community as it’s vital to act as a joint front to reach the best efficiency,” she says. “The more we do, the more help we can provide. All the donations will be distributed to the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who combat the Russian war machine like lions, and to the needs of civilians who unfortunately endure the war consequences.”

ICON lends support, too

The Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine’s website currently supports donations in 13 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, Tether, Terra… and ICX.

In fact, the ICON Foundation has offered very tangible support to the campaign, with ICON founder Min Kim pledging 1 million ICX (about USD 740,000) toward aid and relief for the Ukrainian people.

Particularly noteworthy is that the ICON Foundation apparently volunteered the support without having to be asked.

Actually, Min reached out to us and mentioned that the community might want to support Ukraine some time ago,” says Anna. “He mentioned that the foundation would donate 1 million ICX to Ukraine as well. It’s great to see how different blockchain communities unite to support Ukraine! Thank you guys for standing with Ukraine.”

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