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Ukraine’s Deputy Digital Minister Rejects ‘FTX-Democrats Narrative’

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Ukraine’s Deputy Digital Minister Rejects ‘FTX-Democrats Narrative’

Claims that Ukraine has invested military aid into the bankrupt crypto exchange FTX have been rebutted by a representative of the Ukrainian government. Speculation circulated on social media suggested such funds have been returning to the U.S. via FTX donations for the Democratic Party.

Kyiv Official Describes as Nonsense Allegation That Ukrainian Investment in FTX Funded Democrats

Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, Oleksandr (Alex) Bornyakov, has rejected claims that money sent in support of his war-torn nation has been invested in FTX, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges which is currently in bankruptcy proceedings.

The rumors spread on social media last week with some commenters linking the alleged investment in FTX to donations made by the troubled coin trading platform to the Democratic Party in the United States.

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#BREAKING ⚡️🇺🇦UKRAINE “MILITARY AID” FROM USA – WAS INVESTED IN CRYPTO “FTX” BY UKRAINE!

— UKR REPORT (@UKR_Report) November 12, 2022

Since the beginning of the Russian military invasion in late February, the Ukrainian government and volunteer organizations have relied heavily on foreign aid to fund their defense and humanitarian efforts. Millions of dollars have been raised through cryptocurrency donations.

A dedicated portal, Aid For Ukraine, was launched in March to collect digital funds. According to its website and Twitter account, more than $60 million, a figure announced in May, in various digital currencies have been received, including over 600 BTC, 10,000 ETH, and 15 million USDT. The current balance of the BTC address provided by the initiative is a little over 0.08 BTC.

The foundation had three main crypto partners: staking service provider Everstake, FTX, and the Ukrainian cryptocurrency exchange Kuna. FTX was employed to convert the donated digital assets into fiat currency, Bornyakov explained in a tweet posted on Monday. He also said the “whole narrative … is nonsense.”

A fundraising crypto foundation @_AidForUkraine used @FTX_Official to convert crypto donations into fiat in March. Ukraine’s gov never invested any funds into FTX. The whole narrative that Ukraine allegedly invested in FTX, who donated money to Democrats is nonsense, frankly 🤦‍♂️

— Alex Bornyakov (@abornyakov) November 14, 2022

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Aid For Ukraine’s latest report on how the money is being spent, published in July, shows that a large portion of the raised cryptocurrency was used to acquire military equipment, including rifle scopes and thermal imagers, radio communication kits, armor vests and helmets, other clothing and field rations, as well as fuel. A global anti-war media campaign has been funded with over $5 million.

Studies conducted by blockchain analytics firms Chainalysis and TRM Labs revealed that pro-Russia groups have been also accepting donations through crypto exchanges and managed to raise millions of dollars in digital coins used to support the Russian side in the military conflict.

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Allegations, Bankruptcy, claims, conflict, Crypto, Crypto Donations, crypto exchange, Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency, democratic party, Democrats, donations, invasion, investment, Russia, russian, Ukraine, ukrainian, War

What are your thoughts on the alleged Ukrainian investment in crypto exchange FTX? Tell us in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Alex Bornyakov. Source: Twitter, @abornyakov

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Accusations

Report Says Binance Shared Client Data With Russia, Crypto Exchange Denies Allegations

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Report Says Binance Shared Client Data With Russia, Crypto Exchange Denies Allegations

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has been accused in a media report of agreeing to provide user data to Russia’s financial watchdog. The trading platform has refuted the allegations. It also insists it’s complying with Western sanctions imposed over Moscow’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

Binance Consented to Russian Request for Customer Info, Reuters Claims in ‘Special Report’

Binance, the world’s leading digital asset exchange, has agreed to hand over customer data to Russia’s financial intelligence agency, a report by Reuters suggests. The article refers to messages allegedly sent by Binance’s regional head Gleb Kostarev to a business associate revealing that the Russian officials asked for such information, including names and addresses, during a meeting last April.

The Federal Financial Monitoring Service of the Russian Federation (Rosfinmonitoring) saw its request supposedly motivated by the need for help in the fight against crime. Quoting an anonymous source familiar with the matter, the authors note that at the time, the financial watchdog was trying to trace millions of dollars in bitcoin raised by imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s team.

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Rosfinmonitoring labeled his network a terrorist organization a year ago. The Kremlin critic claimed the crypto donations were used to fund efforts to expose corruption inside President Putin’s administration. Supporters who sent money through Russian banks were interrogated, Navalny’s foundation says. After his arrest in January 2021, it encouraged backers to donate via Binance.

Navalny was detained upon his return to the Russian Federation, after recovering from poisoning that the West blames on Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), an accusation rejected by Russian authorities. Relying on statements from several unidentified persons who interacted with the regulator, Reuters writes that the agency acts as an arm of the FSB. Officially, it is an independent body responsible for combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

Kostarev, Binance’s representative for Eastern Europe and Russia, reportedly consented to Rosfinmonitoring’s request to agree to share client data, according to the said messages. He also told his business partner he didn’t have “much of a choice.” Binance commented for Reuters it had been “actively seeking compliance in Russia” before the war in Ukraine, which would have required it to respond to “appropriate requests from regulators and law enforcement agencies.”

Crypto Exchange Rejects Claims as ‘Categorically False’

Quoting an industry research firm, the Reuters article further unveils that Binance’s trading volumes in Russia have spiked since the conflict began, as Russians sought to protect their assets from sanctions and a devaluing national fiat. Data from Cryptocompare indicated that in March Binance processed almost 80% of all ruble-to-crypto trades. On Thursday, the exchange announced, however, it’s limiting services for Russian account holders to comply with the latest EU sanctions.

Refuting the allegations in the report, Binance described the cited market data as inaccurate, and while pointing out that it “aggressively implemented sanctions against Russia,” in answers to questions from Reuters, it reiterated its belief that “it would be unethical for a private organization to decide unilaterally to freeze millions of innocent users’ accounts.” In a statement published Friday, the company said it had “stopped working in Russia” as soon as the war started.

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While emphasizing that “fulfilling disclosure obligations to the authorities in each jurisdiction is a large part of becoming a regulated business,” the global crypto trading platform said that the suggestions it shared any user data, including related to Alexei Navalny, with agencies controlled by the FSB and Russian regulators are “categorically false.” Binance insisted it had not sought to assist the Russian state in its attempts to investigate the opposition leader.

Tags in this story

Accusations, Allegations, claims, Crypto, Crypto Donations, crypto exchange, Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency, Exchange, financial watchdog, Kostarev, Navalny, opposition, regulator, Regulators, restrictions, Rosfinmonitoring, Russia, russian, Sanctions, Ukraine, user data, users, War, watchdog

What are your thoughts on the report alleging that Binance shared user data with Russia’s financial watchdog? Let us know in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

Advertisement

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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