Crypto-Powered Ukrainian Charity Launches Debit Card for War Victims
The crypto community-backed charitable venture that earlier received a USD 2.5m fund boost from the Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin has announced it has launched a charity crypto debit card that will allow Ukrainian users to access funds and humanitarian aid.
In press releases shared with Cryptonews.com, the charity, Unchain Fund, said it had launched what it has called the Unchain Help Card. The card is a “virtual debit card that will distribute funds donated to the initiative directly to Ukrainian mothers impacted by the war,” the organization explained, although “for people receiving help, it will look like an ordinary virtual MasterCard.”
The body added that 2,000 cards had already been issued, although it is hoping to raise funds to issue thousands more after receiving “more than 12,000 applications” for the card.
The card, which is being co-issued by Unex Bank, can be used both for payments in stores and for cash withdrawals, with “eligible individuals” to be “granted an allowance” of just over USD 27 “per person, per week.”
The charity noted that financial assistance would be prioritized in the case of single mothers with newborn babies, while “Ukrainian women with at least one child under 6 and who live in regions where intense hostilities are taking place” would also be fast-tracked.
The virtual card can be used via Google Pay, Apple Pay, and the Unex Bank app.
“A single individual will be able to receive assistance up to four times, with transfers made automatically,” the charity noted.
Certain identity checks have also been put in place – and make use of a government-operated ID platform. The body explained:
“Applicants will be required to undergo a simple verification process via Unchain’s chatbot, and provide either their temporary ID from the Ukrainian e-government system Diia, or proof of identity and their tax code, as well as their children’s birth certificates.”
The body, which calls itself a “global crypto-native fundraising campaign,” was launched on February 25 and said that it has raised USD 10.2m worth of crypto donations. The body says it has distributed up to USD 4.3m of that amount thus far.
Buterin’s own contribution to the fund – in addition to a USD 2.5m contribution to the Ukrainian government’s defense fund, was feted by a deputy government minister.
Alexey Meretskiy, the co-founder of the Unchain Fund and also the co-founder of the card startup Weld Money, explained:
“This is help from Vitalik Buterin is desperately needed and greatly appreciated as the Unchain Fund scrambles to care for thousands of displaced Ukrainians. We’re incredibly grateful for Buterin’s support and donation of ETH 750.”
The body says that it has enabled donations on 14 blockchain protocols, including Ethereum, Solana (SOL), and the Binance Smart Chain.
It also differentiates itself from other crypto funds by claiming not to “accumulate and direct funds to purchase weapons.”
Instead, it claims that funds are used to finance the purchase of ready-to-eat food, dry rations, medicine, clothes, as well as equipment such as bulletproof vests, helmets, walkie-talkies, and fuel.
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