Published in El Pais, 26 de Marzo 2022.
It seems that everyday, people turn on the news to see the latest update on the war in Ukraine. The media has shown some truly horrific images of violence and destruction that many deem to be needless. Governments around the world have responded with sanctions to cripple the Russian economy while international bodies such as FIFA and the IOC have banned Russian athletes from their respective events. On an individual level many have donated to humanitarian organizations working in Ukraine in both fiat and cryptocurrency. These people expect nothing in return but those who want to donate in crypto may be getting a something in return, a special NFT.
President Zelensky had originally announced that they will gift those that donated in crypto an NFT (a Non Fungible Token stored on the blockchain) as a thank you for their donation, however they later backtracked on that promise but did say they would launch an NFT campaign to help raise more funds. The NFT may or may not have any value but that is besides the point. Those who hold the NFT can use it as a badge of honour to remind them that they helped a cause they believed in and if war torn Ukraine can do it why can’t other charities?
The practice is not new as people who donate often receive a meaningless gift in return, a cheap mug, teddy bear and so on but these often get lost and are worn out overtime. An NFT will last long after the owner is gone and can be passed down to generations. If you think a Ukrainian NFT may be worthless one only has to look at the collectability of war bonds to show that is not the case. 100 years from now we may see a Ukrainian NFT go for 1000s of dollars.
Of course, the potential to financially benefit is not the main goal, it would just be a simple sign of appreciate for those that helped the cause, but it may also see an increase in funds raised for many good causes.
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