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The New Use For NFTs? Funding Defense

BY Jex Exmundo

March 29, 2022

The massive potential of NFTs hasn’t been lost on the Ukrainian government. In Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, government employees are hard at work securing funding for their ongoing war effort. Among these fundraising efforts is a series of state-run NFT auctions.

The Museum of War

With the recent launch of Meta History: Museum of War, they’re making good on an early March announcement of an impending state-run NFT launch to help raise funds for the war effort. This will add to Ukraine’s robust collection of digital assets. According to the BBC’s reports, they received $5.4 million in cryptocurrency within eight hours of opening up crypto wallets for donations.

So how will NFTs fit into the broader picture? Interested buyers from all over the world will be able to help fund the Ukrainian war effort by purchasing pieces from the Museum of War: a digital museum established by Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation. Via the Museum of War, anyone with a crypto wallet can help document and fund Ukraine’s fight.

Ministry head Mykhailo Fedorov described the museum as a “place to keep the memor[ies] of war, […and to] celebrate the Ukrainian identity.” As such, each NFT from the museum will consist of creative depictions of pivotal moments of the conflict, to be released and auctioned off for sale in chronological order. With each drop, buyers will have the opportunity to purchase a piece of history as it happens in real-time, in addition to helping fund the Ukrainian war effort.

Each NFT from the collection is slated to cost 0.15 ETH, roughly equivalent to $475 USD. With 5,000 to 7,000 pieces planned for the collection, the entire auction has the potential to raise up to $3 million USD for the Ukrainian government. Since its first drop on March 25, the Ministry of Digital Transformation has used this additional funding to help provide Ukrainian forces with more protective clothing, food, and medicine.

Could NFTs be the future of military funding?

While Ukraine’s military may have been the first to turn to NFTs for funding, they certainly won’t be the last. All countries and actors have the freedom to hold similar NFT auctions to raise funds for whatever it is they need.

However, what makes NFT sales a particularly appealing option for military funding is their added security. Currently, the Ukraine-Russia conflict isn’t just happening on the ground – it’s also happening in cyberspace. After the annexation of Crimea in 2015, Russian hackers were able to cut off power in 230,000 Western Ukrainian households.

But that’s not all a team of state-sponsored hackers can do. They can also target banking institutions and government agencies, wiping their data in the process. In one fell sweep, a hacker can potentially erase millions of dollars worth of wartime funds stored on third-party networks.

Thanks to the decentralized nature of NFTs and cryptocurrency, as well as the hardware wallet solutions available for storing digital tokens, hackers would have a much harder time interfering with transactions of this nature. That’s an added layer of protection that both Ukraine and its international supporters simply won’t be able to do without.

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