On Wednesday (March 2), the Russia-Ukraine war entered its seventh day. In the week that passed since the fighting began, NFTs emerged as a potent tool for fundraising — one that communities supporting Ukrainian defense and humanitarian ventures are increasingly turning to. UkraineDAO, for one, has accomplished a lot over the last week with non-fungible tokens.
The decentralized organization was created by Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova, Trippy Labs, and members from the influential PleasrDAO to raise funds for people affected by the Russian invasion. It brought in more than $7 million in just a few short days.
This latest news comes as the crypto and NFT communities are continuing to launch an array of endeavors to support Ukraine. The goal of all these organizations is the same: To offer assistance to those residing in the now war-torn country, where hundreds have reportedly been killed. And the results are impressive across the board, showing the vitality of the crypto community and its willingness to give.
UkraineDAO’s efforts began on Feb. 24, when its founders announced their intentions to use the power of web3 technologies to raise funds.
For the first few days, the DAO directed the crypto community to donate to an ETH address (UkraineDAO.eth). Then, on Saturday (Feb. 26), Tolokonnikova initiated a PartyBid auction for a 1/1 NFT of the Ukrainian flag. A total of 3,271 bidders raised around 2,258 ETH (just under $6.7 million). That money will now be used to fund nonprofits and charitable organizations on the ground in Ukraine.
To date, direct donors have also contributed around $450,000 towards UkraineDAO’s efforts, bringing the total amount of funds raised by UkraineDAO well over $7 million.
Other NFT projects for Ukraine
Similar to UkraineDAO, RELI3F is a humanitarian aid initiative that was founded by NFT and web3 artists to support the people of Ukraine. The project had a large-scale NFT sale that included pieces from 37 artists, including Danny Cole, Sartoshi, Super Gremplin, Arial Jade, and more. 100% of primary sales went directly towards relief efforts in Ukraine. Just 30 seconds after the initial launch, the project sold out, earning over a million dollars.
Time magazine also launched TimePieces’ Artists for Peace. The NFT auction includes 59 artists. As is true of the other initiatives, 100% of the proceeds will go to Ukraine, and the company is receiving zero royalties on both primary and secondary sales to maximize funds for those in need.
But although this fundraising is impressive, it can only do so much.
“What I’m really thinking about is, what’s going to happen next?” UkraineDAO co-founder CryptoSteve told nft now in a Wednesday morning Twitter Space. “This is years of trauma for a whole country that’s going to need support in many fields beyond reconstruction.”
The current plan, according to Tolokonnikova, is to send a portion of the funds raised to Come Back Alive, a charitable fund that, among other things, provides support to the Ukrainian army. Tolokonnikova says she’s conferred with numerous nonprofits in Ukraine and found that Come Back Alive is regarded by many as the most trusted and effective organization aiding those currently being affected by war.
“We are now focussing on transferring the funds [from the PartyBid auction] to Come Back Alive,” Tolokonnikova told nft now also via Twitter Space. “If you ask me about the future and what’s next, I just want to make sure this money is transferred safely and we’ll take it from there.”