Vitalik Buterin Donates to Ukraine Through $8 Million Crypto Fund

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Apr. 1 2022, Published 12:13 p.m. ET

Co-founder of the Ethereum blockchain and global crypto leader Vitalik Buterin has been supporting Ukraine by donating to a cryptocurrency DAO (decentralized autonomous organization). The fund has amassed $8 million to help Ukraine leverage digital assets in the fight against the Russian invasion.

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At their core, Buterin believes crypto and other blockchain-based assets can—and should—make the world a better place. Through his crypto donations to Ukraine, he’s putting his money where his mouth is.

Is Vitalik Buterin Ukrainian?

Buterin isn't Ukrainian, but that isn’t stopping him from supporting the war-shackled nation. In fact, Buterin was born in Russia, although he immigrated to Canada in 1999 when he was just five years old. He moved to Canada with his family to escape an unpredictable leadership after the Soviet Union collapsed.

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Vitalik Buterin donated to Ukraine DAO.

Buterin has been quietly donating cryptocurrency to the Ukraine DAO — a collective formed to help stop the Russian war on Ukraine, defend Ukraine from invasion, provide support to war victims, and help rebuild Ukraine when the war ends.

According to the Ukraine DAO manifesto, the organization “will bring in members with a broad range of skillsets and expertise, encouraging global participation. Our decentralised actions will support the efforts of the ‘offline DAO’ that is the Ukrainians on the ground. We will continually involve members in decision making and structural evolution.”

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Buterin’s father has also donated to the Ukraine DAO.

Buterin’s father, Dmitry Buterin, has also supported the Ukraine DAO. It isn't clear how much the Buterin family donated in total, but the DAO has raised more than $8 million in about a month, all for organizations and individuals in Ukraine.

Who started the Ukraine DAO and how does it work?

A woman named Alona Shevchenko started the Ukraine DAO. Shevchenko lives in the U.K. but is from Ukraine. At just 28 years old, she's a prominent figure in the DAO community. She’s involved in the Pleasr DAO, an art collective, and ended up starting the Ukraine DAO with some friends from Pleasr.

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What started as a group of three quickly swelled into something monumental. The Ukraine DAO Discord community has 2,709 members as of April 1, with hundreds online at any one time.

Shevchenko had the opportunity to speak with Buterin. Shevchenko said she never thought she would get the chance to speak to him and is “beyond grateful to him for taking the time to speak to me and all the support and empathy he had.”

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Shevchenko said that Web 3.0 has enabled new ways of raising and distributing funds efficiently, transparently, and without the hassles of traditional fundraising. She said, “In my view, this is what DAOs are for: Making a positive impact in the real world by harnessing the power of blockchain. And Ukraine DAO on Ethereum is the embodiment of that vision.”

Buterin seems to hold the same mindset about crypto, alternative assets, blockchain technology, and DAOs across the world.

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