Last week, Russia entered Ukraine with military forces, and thousands of people were displaced. In response, the crypto and NFT communities quickly banded together. Their goal? To offer assistance to those residing in the now war-torn country. Sam Bankman-Fried, the CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, announced that every Ukrainian who uses his platform would receive $25. The co-founder of Origin Protocol asked if any NFT creators were “interested in linking up to do a 100% for charity drop for Ukraine relief.”
Others rallied around Ukrainian NFT artists by creating Twitter threads and Google spreadsheets of creators to support. Crypto users also funneled more than $4 million in assets to an NGO supporting the Ukrainian military.
And this was just the beginning.
TimePieces’ Artists for Peace
Time magazine announced that TimePieces, their web3 community initiative, would be launching Artists for Peace. It’s an NFT auction that includes 59 artists, and 100% of the proceeds will support humanitarian and relief efforts in the Ukraine. In the announcement, the company stated that it would receive zero royalties on both primary and secondary sales in order to maximize funds sent to those in need.
The price starts at 0.22 ETH (for 2022). If you’re interested, you can bid here.
Time also noted that the participating artists will ultimately determine where the money goes by selecting from a list of organizations. From there, members of the TimePieces community will vote on their preferred distributions.
The making of UkraineDAO
On Feb. 25, Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova, Trippy Labs, and members from the influential PleasrDAO also came together to create UkraineDAO.
A DAO is a group of individuals that coordinate using a shared set of rules. Notably, these rules are immutable, as they are enforced on a blockchain. Typically, DAOs serve as a decentralized model for the purpose of co-investing, but they can be used as a governance system to accomplish other goals. And the goal of UkraineDAO? To use the power of web3 technologies to raise funds for Ukraine. Specifically, the DAO is selling non-fungible tokens, and the money gained through these sales will be given to nonprofits that help those suffering from the war.
Tolokonnikova also announced that the DAO plans to purchase an NFT of the Ukrainian flag to “help those suffering from the war that Putin started in Ukraine.”
The organization already started a major crowdfund for any who wish to contribute — in crypto — towards the DAO’s efforts. To get involved, follow the UkraineDAO Twitter account and join the DAO’s Discord server.
An activist and longtime critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Tolokonnikova is the most vocal participant in UkraineDAO. This isn’t too surprising. After all, she was jailed in Russia back in 2012 for a Pussy Riot performance protesting ties between the Russian Orthodox Church and Putin.
Now that the multi-faceted artist has found a foothold in the NFT and web3 community, she is using her platform to spread information about the Ukraine situation. She is also promoting other organizations that are aligned with the mission of UkraineDAO. PleasrDAO has yet to publicly contribute to the conversation surrounding the formation of UkraineDAO. However, the organization has a history of supporting projects that take a stance against oppression and injustice.
Reli3F Raising millions for Ukraine
In addition to UkraineDAO, another endeavor, RELI3F, has cropped up with a similar mission. Headed by a slew of crypto-artists and prominent NFT influencers, the project initiated a large-scale NFT sale that includes pieces from 37 artists. These include Danny Cole, Vinnie Hager, Sartoshi, Super Gremplin, Hawkward, Ravi Vora, Arial Jade, and more. 100% of primary sales go directly towards relief efforts in Ukraine. Just 30 seconds after the initial launch, the project sold out, earning over a million dollars.
Learn more about RELI3F in this Twitter thread from Andrew Wang.
Speaking to One37PM, Wang outlined why blockchain was the perfect vehicle for the funding effort. “The NFT community is filled with innovative and passionate individuals. This is the time to call on them,” Wang said, “And since blockchain technology enables all transactions to be transparent, the public can be assured that the funds are actually going to the people of Ukraine.”
Wang also noted that the project was beneficial for the users who buy-in. “Many of the artists featured have collections with a 1 ETH floor or higher, meaning many people are priced out,” Wang said, referring to the 0.05 ETH price for each of the 37 pieces. “With this collection, you can help the situation in Ukraine and purchase art that would be above the average price range for casual NFT collectors.”
So far, the NFT collection has passed over 620 ETH ($1,702,676.44 USD) in trading volume.
And there are many more projects and funds that we could mention. So at this juncture, one thing is definitely certain: The crypto and NFT communities have much more to give, and this is only the beginning.
Note: This article has been updated to reflect the latest in crowdfunding efforts.