Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Ukraine official sees the promise of crypto

Lucinda Shen
Mar 30, 2022

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Many in crypto have looked at the Ukraine crisis as a catalyst for the industry. The country's Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation and a long-time crypto believer, Alex Bornyakov, says he agrees.

  • "We believe that virtual assets are the future," he says. "If there is a disaster, then crypto could help save lives when other means of payments are not available."

Why it matters: Crypto assets have grown rapidly in the last few years, with many seeing the instability in Ukraine as a moment for digital assets to shine.

Context: This all comes as crypto has become an unlikely focal point for Ukraine's battle against Russia, with the smaller nation amassing donations of roughly $71 million via digital assets since the invasion started in February.

  • Especially in the early days of the invasion, when fiat payment transfers became unreliable, crypto offered a much needed alternative, says Bornyakov. "It's a huge help for us," he says.
  • In another sign of the nation's crypto friendliness, it legalized the industry in mid-March.
  • The country is also selling a timeline of the Russian invasion as an NFT to fund army and civilian support efforts.
Go deeper