Artists and Activists Turn to NFT Sales to Support the Ukrainian People


NFTs are showing the brighter side of humanity as real support transcends the boundaries of nations and reaches Ukraine through the metaverse. In light of the ongoing military conflict, people from all around the world send their donations to Ukraine via NFT sales, as artists and activists turn to them over older fundraising methods.

Millions in Donations Raised for Ukraine by NFT Sales

It feels like NFTs have been taking over the world recently, with more and more types of communities getting involved by the day. From major visual artists to global fashion brands and from video game studios to superstar rappers, everyone is rushing in to join the trend. One aspect of human life in 2022 no one was probably expecting to be drawn into the NFT phenomena is armed conflict between nations, actual war, but here we are.

Soon after the start of hostilities in Ukraine, and the countless human tragedies that followed it, NFTs were being used to raise funds for helping refugees and other causes. The biggest example so far is UkraineDAO which crowdfunded 2,100 ETH by 2nd of March, worth over $6 million at the time. That event was initiated by Nadya Tolokonnikova – the Russian artist, activist and member of the anarchist feminist punk rock group Pussy Riot.

Rather than individual works of art, contributors will receive fractionalized ownership of one Ukrainian flag NFT in the form of $love tokens. As the UkraineDAO team explained: “Initially there was the thought of artists creating something, but that idea quickly changed when the group decided the NFT should be a symbol of the Ukrainian people rather than focused on a particular artist or aesthetic. That being said, we are in full support of other organizations auctioning off artists’ work in support of Ukraine.”

Another example of a Russian artist using NFTs to support people in need in Ukraine which made the headlines is Olive Allen. She even burnt her Russian passport to express her support, stating: “I’m a Russian artist and in solidarity with the Ukrainian people I burned my Russian passport to create the NFT ‘Passport Burning.’ All the NFT sale proceeds will be donated to SavetheChildren Ukraine Fund.”

The second biggest example in monetary terms so far is the RELI3F.xyz NFT sale, which raised 699 ETH according to data on OpenSea, worth over $1.7 million. RELI3F is a humanitarian aid initiative founded by NFT artists collaborating to support the people of Ukraine. “In a crisis where time is of the essence, web3 allows us to collaborate with artists + collectors to get funds where they are most needed. And because of the blockchain, we can provide full transparency,” the RELI3F team explained.

In addition to new sales, established NFT communities also stepped up to show support for the people of Ukraine. The Bored Ape Yacht Club team sent $1 million in ETH to the Ukraine government’s official wallet on March 8, matching the $1 million in donations individual community members made already. Besides the $2 million in ETH someone also sent an actual Bored Ape valued at $200,000. Even NFT funds which were created to support other causes have apparently donated to Ukraine. According to Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, a donation worth over $1.8 million came from the proceeds of the AssangeDao NFT sale – which was created to help the incarcerated Wikileaks founder and activist Julian Assange.

For anyone looking for an NFT to show their support for the people of Ukraine there are many new sales that are just getting started, but they have to make sure to watch out for scams.

One example of a new charity NFT sale is Ukraine’s Angels. This collection was created by ElephantsLab, a Ukrainian blockchain research, consulting and software development company. ElephantsLab is based in Vinnytsia, Ukraine which has become a hub for refugees fleeing the destruction in other cities across the nation. Once the war started the team used what they know best to help raise funds for those who need it the most in their country. Donations of any size can be made in BSC and with a donation of 0.25 BNB or more, you can mint your own unique NFT as an Angel of Ukraine.

The mission statement of Ukraine’s Angels reads: “This is the world’s crypto family’s contribution to #StopTheWar. Buying an NFT from this collection, you save lives. Your financial aid will help sustain those who need it most: the injured, the refugees, and all other Ukrainians affected…Once the hostilities are quenched, the donations will then be used to rebuild the vital infrastructure: roads, bridges, hospitals, educational facilities, etc…”

Another NFT sale just getting started is #ActLikeZelensky on Foundation.app – a limited art collection with only 100 items. Each item is a unique piece of 3D art of the Ukrainian President. According to the team behind the project, Shields Ukraine: “We raise money to provide Ukrainians at the frontline with much-needed protective non-lethal equipment and humanitarian aid.” The NFT sale’s proceeds will go towards buying helmets, bulletproof vests, thermal imagers, flashlights and radios for Ukrainians.

What do you think about artists and activists using NFTs to raise donations for Ukraine?