By Federico Bruno, Project Manager, and Lucas Malizia, Defi Consultant, FINANFLIX
In the midst of the war in Ukraine, the country announced on February 26, via its official Twitter, that it would accept cryptocurrency donations to help both civilians and military personnel fighting against Russian forces.
At first, this event was mistrusted and it was thought that it could be a scam, as often happens in the crypto world. Even Vitalik Buterin himself, Ethereum's co-founder, recommended users to verify the veracity of this event.
Later, U.S. diplomat Tomicah Tillemann confirmed that the tweet was actually true.
By February 28, more than $22 million in various cryptocurrencies had been donated. Major names in the crypto world helped reach this amount, including Justin Sun, founder of Tron, and Gavin Woods, founder of Polkadot DOT/USD.
After receiving an amount close to $37 million in Bitcoin BTC/USD and other cryptocurrencies, the Ukrainian government decided to compensate all donors and announced a free token distribution campaign, known in crypto argot as an airdrop.
The information about the airdrop was announced through the official State Twitter account on March 2. The publication stated the following: those who make donations to the official Ukrainian cryptocurrency addresses before Thursday, March 3 at 6:00 pm, Kyiv time, will be participating in the release of free tokens.
This announcement did not last long, and the country changed plans again. Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov announced yesterday through his Twitter account that the airdrop was canceled and that in its replacement NFTs would be issued to support the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
Since a possible airdrop was mentioned, contributions have been constantly coming in and within just one day grew to 20 million in Ethereum's ETH/USD direction alone. Overall, more than 47 million has been raised in various cryptocurrencies.
Source: Michael Silberling/Dune Dashboard
We can analyze this event in two different ways.
One option is to believe that Ukraine was not very aware of the rules of the crypto world and did not really know the hype that could be caused by a potential airdrop. Understanding that it did not intend to generate so much hype.
Or on the contrary, this "fake rug pull" was intended to generate more publicity and thus increase in record time the amount of money donated.
Many hoped that Ukraine would follow El Salvador's footsteps with its airdrop. This would have brought the entire crypto industry to a new level of knowledge. It would have even helped to make their message more visible by generating additional support for the war effort.
After all these events and this brief analysis, could we say that this was the first rug pull made by a sovereign country?
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