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Crypto for All: Empowering our Ukrainian clients with Bitcoin

“Cryptocurrency remains an important humanitarian tool, especially at a time when many around the world can no longer rely on traditional banks and custodians.”

– Jesse Powell, Kraken Co-founder and CEO

On March 9, 2022, we announced an ambitious aid package as Kraken distributed $1,000 in BTC to all Ukrainian accounts. This came two weeks after Russia began a large-scale military attack on Ukraine. 

As part of the effort, Kraken also donated the total trading fees paid by Russia-based clients in the first half of 2022 to the aid package, helping those affected by the war to purchase critical supplies and get themselves and their families to safety.

Kraken’s aid package to its Ukrainian clients arrived at one of the darkest periods of their lives. Today, Kraken is humbled to share some of their stories.

Aiding global citizens through crypto

One Mariupol resident and Kraken client used his credited funds to secure seven bus tickets to Poland for his family after prices skyrocketed as a result of growing dangers at border crossings.

“They lost everything and had no money. The only option to bring my relatives to [safety] was an expensive 2-day bus trip across many miles of Russian territory to Poland. So this request is not actually to request something as a Kraken client. It is the easiest way I’ve found to express my appreciation for the Kraken donation.”

Another Ukrainian resident decided to part with his family, opting to remain in the city of Zaporizhzhia while his family traveled to Poland.

“I send all the money to them so that they can rent a house and buy food for themselves [in Poland], this is really an invaluable help for me and my family.”

Within hours of Russia’s early morning attacks on Feb. 24, 2022, Ukraine declared martial law as Russian tanks and troops poured into the nation. Russian convoys occupied large areas of Ukraine’s most populated cities over the weeks that followed, preventing civilians from leaving.

One client was determined to ensure his family had the supplies they needed to survive.

“We have a baby and we left our home in Kharkov and lost our job[s]. This is a significant help for us in such a difficult time. I will be able to buy food for us and everything we need. At such moments, we understand that the world is filled with kind people and support us.”

Social media testimonies and media outlets captured Ukrainian citizens’ growing sense of panic as they were unable to leave their homes. As Ukrainians responded to calls to pick up weapons and defend their homeland, one client told Kraken, “You helped me a lot, I bought a bulletproof vest at your expense.”

Crypto to empower the people

Empowering the individual is one of the crypto industry’s main tenets. Kraken is committed to its mission of accelerating the adoption of cryptocurrency so everyone can have access to financial services.

This was our first international aid distribution, part of a continuing effort to align our business with the values of the cryptocurrency community. Shortly after announcing the aid package, Kraken Co-founder and CEO Jesse Powell took to Twitter to explain our decision to continue our service to Russian clients.

“Our mission at [Kraken] is to bridge individual humans out of the legacy financial system and bring them into the world of crypto, where arbitrary lines on maps no longer matter, where they don’t have to worry about being caught in broad, indiscriminate wealth confiscation.”

We remain driven by our mission to leverage crypto so that every individual can achieve financial freedom and inclusion, worldwide.

These materials are for general information purposes only and are not investment advice or a recommendation or solicitation to buy, sell or hold any cryptoasset or to engage in any specific trading strategy. Some crypto products and markets are unregulated, and you may not be protected by government compensation and/or regulatory protection schemes. The unpredictable nature of the cryptoasset markets can lead to loss of funds. Tax may be payable on any return and/or on any increase in the value of your cryptoassets and you should seek independent advice on your taxation position.