The Dogecoin masses responded to Ukraine's vice-premier's call for donations by donating a (small) amount of DOGE. There is no joking around when it comes to this.
Avery, a 40-year-old crypto enthusiast living in Colorado, understood just what was needed on Monday morning as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continued. He set up two Antminer L3 mining rigs in his attic and connected them to a Ukrainian public address, where he began sending a constant stream of Dogecoin to the country.
According to his plan, "I'm going to send roughly 40 DOGE a day," which works up to about $50 per month. "Until further notice, I'm giving them all of my wages."
Dogecoin? Defending a country against an invasion? The world's most valuable jokecoin, surely, wouldn't make another joke like this?
Actually, the answer is no. On the same day that Avery's DOGE was due to be posted, Ukraine's vice prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, had launched a public appeal for donations in the eternally unexpected dog coin that was born in 2015 as a joke. Fedorov had already requested donations in Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Fedorov tweeted on Wednesday that "@dogecoin exceeded the Russian currency in value." Meme coin donations are now being accepted. Even memes can help our military and preserve the lives of our citizens from the Russians. @elonmusk, @BillyM2k, and all $DOGE shareholders, let's go for it!
A link to a "official $DOGE wallet" (DS76K9uJJzQjCFvAbpPGtFerp1qkJoeLwL) concluded his message.
This address has already received $66,000 and is still receiving money as of the time of this writing. As a joke currency, Dogecoin isn't worth a lot, but the donations seem sincere; this isn't presented to the public as some sort of shady investment opportunity. (In fact, since Fedorov's announcement, DOGE's market value has fallen by a stunning $0.2)
All of this is a mystery, and it's not apparent how it came to be. There were two core developers of Dogecoin who asked not to be named refusing to say if any Dogecoin leaders had been active in politics. On the r/dogecoin subreddit, some Dogecoin supporters speculated that Elon Musk, a Dogecoin evangelist, had raised Fedorov's interest. It was also stated by Elon Musk that the recently launched Starlink terminals had offered internet connection to Ukraine. Or Ukrainian foreign minister may have assumed that attention-starved crypto investing clubs could be readily swayed to donate to his cause.
In any event, Dogecoin users are donating freely.
An act of profound geopolitical significance is Avery's decision to donate DOGE to a war effort. According to him, with the help of DOGE "we can bypass governments, bypass fees, and go straight to the source." Further, he emphasised the importance of employing decentralised coins that are easily transferable to dethrone the dollar as the global reserve currency.
It's up to the Ukrainians to utilise bitcoin/doge to buy food and avoid the war machine, he said.
Compared to others, it's a lot less complicated.
As of this writing, "Greg" is a pseudonymous crypto investor with an extensive international following and a Twitter profile picture displaying what appears to be a disturbed ginger 12-year-old. His main reason for choosing DOGE was that it cost less to transfer money.
It cost him one doge because the donation originated from his Coinbase account, and he explained that he donated 420 Dogecoins in total.
It begs the question: Why a memecoin and not something less volatile? I inquired about it.
"That's why I opted for DOGE: it's the currency I had the most of and is the most convenient to send," he replied.
Of course, Greg is part of a larger trend. Last year, Dogecoin owners saw a 3,100% increase in their currency's value. They aren't able to give much else. Another donor, vision b, told me, "I have more doge than fiat or bitcoins." "It's the currency I choose."
It was not a joke.
Ukraine stated on Wednesday that it would reward customers who donated nearly $47 million in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by sending crypto tokens directly into user wallets as a promotional "airdrop."
For new tokens or blockchain projects, airdrops are often used as a promotional tactic to boost the number of people who participate in the project. Some tasks are as basic as following a social media account before the free tokens can be distributed to recipients.
Ukraine did not specify in its announcement of the airdrop who would receive the presents or what they would contain in its tweet. Ukraine's official crypto wallet has received minor payments of as little as $0.30 in Ether with the hopes of receiving a free present from the Ukrainian government, according to reports.
The government of Ukraine isn't the first to plan an airdrop. Bitcoin is legal tender in El Salvador, and the country airdropped $30 worth of the currency to each of its people in an effort to encourage the use of the currency.
Ukraine's government does not accept cryptocurrencies as legal cash, despite the fact that it is legal. Ukrainian authorities are now accepting more cryptocurrencies as donations after Bitcoin, Ether, and other digital tokens proven to be a popular means of funding the country's armed forces and humanitarian aid groups.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Ukraine Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov said that the government is now accepting Dogecoin, the popular parody coin sponsored by Elon Musk and Mark Cuban, and is now accepting donations in Solana.
Now, "even memes can support our troops and rescue lives from Russian invaders," Fedorov remarked.
Donations were previously accepted in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), USDT (USDT), and Polkadot (Polkadot token), which was developed by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood. On Tuesday, Wood donated $5.8 million in Polkadot tokens to Ukraine as a sign of gratitude for the country's acceptance of Polkadot.
A new, close-knit segment of the cryptocurrency ecosystem has been reached thanks to the government's recognition of Dogecoin. Meme coins like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu have strong social media followings, which help spread the word about new blockchain projects and encourage others to keep holding the token and boost the price of the currency.