Ukraine dropped a series of NFTs yesterday to raise funds in support of the country’s army and civilians. Ukraine's powerful and prolific social media communications (while under Russian attack)—the result of a very young and technically savvy government—are reflected in the NFTs, which are made up of wartime tweets and artist's images. Each work costs 0.15ETH (£390).
The drop comes from the Meta History Museum of War, the official collection of Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation, in what has been described as a modern version of war bonds. "This collection is here to preserve the memory of the real events at given times during the war, to spread truthful information across the digital community in the world, and to collect donations in support of Ukraine," a website statement says.
Alex Bornyakov, a 40-year-old marketing technology entrepreneur who had a New York-based business and is now the deputy minister for the Ministry of Digital Transformation, launched the museum with a tweet on 25 March: “Today IT, blockchain and NFT are the tools that work to preserve the statehood and history of Ukraine. With the support of our partners we’ve launched the NFT-museum @Meta_History_UA. Rebuilding the country requires modern solutions.”
Proceeds will be transferred to the ministry’s official Ethereum wallet “for the humanitarian needs for Ukraine”, according to a government statement.
The museum’s gallery is presented as a timeline of the war that combines chronological texts of tweets and war footage with works by Ukrainian artists such as Ivan Ponomarchuk, Kvi Kvi, Hordiy Vasylash, Iryna Vale, and Ekaterina Kolesnik, accompanied by short, dramatic descriptions.
One of the first works, by Ponomarchuk, timed to 05:58 on the morning of the invasion, depicts a young man asleep in bed, a missed call from his mother and a tweet from the Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba saying that Putin has launched an invasion: “The world can and must stop Putin.”
As of Wednesday, the Ministry of Digital Transformation had already raised over $71m in crypto out of a $200m target in a campaign on its online portal. Earlier in March, Bornyakov tweeted that “each and every helmet and vest bought via crypto donations is currently saving Ukrainian soldiers' lives”. He also appeared on a YouTube crypto-finance talk show called Bankless touting the role of crypto assets in funding the country’s resistance since the invasion.
The Ministry of Digital Transformation has praised other initiatives that are raising money for the Ukrainian war relief such as the technology platform Holy Water, which has raised more than $63,000 with around 500 participating artists, according to its site. The ministry has also crowdsourced hackers into a "cyber army" that went after Russia’s Central Bank.