Artificial IntelligenceCryptocurrencyMetaverseCybersecurityTech Forward

Anti-Putin punk activists Pussy Riot are part of a DAO selling NFTs to raise crypto donations for Ukraine

February 25, 2022, 6:03 PM UTC

Pussy Riot has been fighting Russian President Vladimir Putin for years in court and in music. Now the punk band is joining the Ukrainian resistance via the crypto markets.

A newly formed decentralized autonomous organization cofounded by Nadya Tolokonnikova, a member of the feminist rock group, is selling non-fungible tokens on Saturday to raise money for nonprofits in Ukraine.

The DAO will sell NFTs of pictures of the Ukrainian flag priced at 0.08241991 Ether as a tribute to Ukraine’s Declaration of Independence on Aug. 24, 1991, according to crypto-focused news outlet The Defiant. All proceeds will go to nonprofit organizations in Ukraine. A decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO, is a group of people with a shared goal but no central leader that uses the blockchain to make decisions. 

The DAO will be donating crypto to Come Back Alive, a charitable organization that fundraises for Ukraine’s military, Tolokonnikova said on the OhhShiny Show, a Twitter Spaces program focused on NFTs and crypto. The DAO is considering donating to other charitable organizations including the Red Cross, Tolokonnikova added.

“If we could, we would jump under a tank to stop it,” Tolokonnikova said of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “For multiple reasons we can’t do it right now, so we’re helping with crypto.” 

An early contributor to the group, Trippy, the founder of NFT art collective Trippy Labs, told The Defiant that the project has support from NFT marketplace OpenSea, crypto exchange MoonPay, and NFT provider Origin Protocol.

In the midst of the Russian invasion, crypto has emerged as an important resource for Ukrainians as other payment forms become unreliable. Following Russia’s invasion of the country on Thursday, Ukraine’s central bank shut down electronic money payments which likely encompasses fiat currency held in digital accounts like Venmo or PayPal, CNBC reports

Several organizations, including Come Back Alive and Ukrainian English-language media outlet The Kyiv Independent have asked for donations in crypto. Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic said in a Friday report that nonprofits and volunteer groups in Ukraine have raised $4 million in crypto donations for the Ukrainian military, although the Ukraine Ministry of Defense official website said it cannot legally accept cryptocurrencies.

Instead of focusing on traditional crowdfunding tools, which use fiat currencies like U.S. dollars, Tolokonnikova said the Ukraine DAO’s use of crypto for its fundraising makes the process more reliable and efficient.

“It’s borderless, it’s permitless, and it’s so much easier and faster than fiat,” Tolokonnikova said on Twitter Spaces.

As for her participation in the DAO, Tolokonnikova, who is from Russia, said that the actions of the Russian government don’t represent the opinion of all Russian people.

“I just want to make a statement with my participation in this DAO, and the participation of a lot of other Russian people, that we despise what Putin has done in Ukraine. We’re ashamed of what is happening,” she said on Twitter Spaces. 

Never miss a story: Follow your favorite topics and authors to get a personalized email with the journalism that matters most to you.