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Polkadot’s Gavin Wood to donate $5M to Ukraine, if they post a DOT address

More and more people are donating to the Ukrainian side of the conflict since Russia’s decision to invade the neighboring country. Most of these donations are funneled through traditional means of fundraising and donations, but significant amounts of funds are also coming in via crypto payments.

As reported by CryptoSlate on Friday, while Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense says it can’t officially receive crypto donations, NGOs in the country are taking crypto to help with the conflict. A non-governmental organization supporting the Ukrainian army has reportedly received around $4 million worth of Bitcoin donations alone.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to outpourings of support on Twitter – and millions of dollars in crypto donations. As of Sunday morning, according to the blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, nearly $17 million had been raised, including $1.86 million from one NFT collection.

In all likelihood, these numbers have increased during the weekend and will continue to do so, and an increasing number of people in the crypto space are lining up to help the Ukrainian war effort.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin broke his Twitter silence about the Russia-Ukraine pointing Twitter users to UkraineDAO, co-founded by Pussy Riot, Trippy Labs, and members of PleasrDAO.

An old partner of Vitalik’s, Dr. Gavin Wood, co-founder of Ethereum and founder of Polkadot, also took to Twitter with regards to Ukraine donations, in a way that maybe didn’t play out as well.

In a response to the official Ukrainian Twitter account, posting Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) addresses for donations, Dr. Wood simply replied “If you post a DOT address I’ll personally contribute $5m.”

If you post a DOT address I’ll personally contribute $5m.

— Gavin Wood (@gavofyork) February 27, 2022

The post has raised some eyebrows and also a bunch of criticism. Wood has also promoted Subsocial, a Ukrainian crypto project accepting donations in a host of different cryptocurrencies related to the Polkadot system, including DOT tokens. Subsocial are building “The underlying architecture for the social networks of the future, connected to @kusamanetwork and @Polkadot Supported by the @web3foundation, according to their Twitter bio.

It looks to some that Dr. Wood is being selective and is conditioning his eventual donations.

The mostly Ukraine-based @Subsocial team have been building donation functionality into their platform for @Polkadot/@kusamanetwork tokens. Just goes into a wallet controlled by Subsocial currently, but a less trust-bound solution on its way…💙💛

— Gavin Wood (@gavofyork) February 27, 2022

Some of the critics are calling Wood’s tweet “a product placement leveraging major global conflict with a 5M price tag.”

people responding to those criticizing this tweet because he is “donating” 5M

It’s not a donation if it has conditions

It’s a product placement leveraging major global conflict with a 5M price tag

I’m sorry but he should just convert to ETH if he really want to donate

— pedrouid.eth 📲 (@pedrouid) February 27, 2022

Though most are cheering such a generous donation, if Wood goes through with it, others less critical also point out that Wood may want to avoid capital gains taxes by paying in DOT tokens, and not converting them to, say, ether (ETH), which would be a taxable event.

Why should he have to pay hundreds of thousands in cap gains if it takes two minutes for them to create an address?

— joelaustin.eth (@carolousue) February 27, 2022

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