None of the articles reviewed by Hoaxlines provided evidence for essential claims
Hoaxlines attempted to find a source for the claim that Ukraine had “invested in FTX,” which is the basis for an elaborate story currently popping up on hyperpartisan websites. Still, there doesn’t appear to be anything beyond speculation. Stories play into stereotypes about Ukraine being corrupt but fail to discuss important details about that corruption.
In March 2022, FTX created a donation page that processed donations for Ukraine, but there’s no indication the relationship went beyond payment processing. Payment processing companies for regular currency include PayPal, Stripe, and Venmo.
- Neither party announced or indicated investment was taking place. The Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine stated the Ukrainian government “never invested any funds into FTX.” Hoaxlines was unable to find any reference to investments. The purchases have funded materials needed to repel the invasion.
- Ukraine publicizes the addresses of crypto wallets, allowing anyone to track donations. Any donations made to or by the government of Ukraine using crypto would be difficult to hide as a consequence. None of the sources provided a transaction ID or wallet where these transactions took place.
- On Ukraine’s end, crypto donations from private individuals were deposited in Ukraine’s National Bank, and funds were accounted for in periodic reports that itemized the funding.
Related media snippets
- CoinDesk characterized the claims as coming from “right-wing” websites:
- CoinDesk wrote about the FTX cooperation in March 2022:
- The Ukrainian website for Aid for Ukraine stated:
FTX filed for bankruptcy last week following CoinDesk's report that the balance sheet of FTX sister company Alameda Research held a surprisingly large amount of FTT, an exchange token issued by FTX. Soon after that, FTT tanked, spiraling a crisis of liquidity on the exchange and a collapse in the company's value.
Neither Ukrainian government nor FTX ever announced an investment event of any sorts. Such a move would have been extravagant for a nation fielding a full-scale military invasion from Russia using military and financial aid from the U.S., E.U., U.K. and other countries, observers have been quick to point out.
Aid for Ukraine has the backing of crypto exchange FTX, staking platform Everstake and Ukraine’s Kuna exchange, will route donated crypto to the National Bank of Ukraine, Everstake’s Head of Growth Vlad Likhuta told CoinDesk. Ukraine’s crypto-savvy Ministry of Digital Transformation is also involved.
Aid For Ukraine is cooperating with the cryptocurrency exchange FTX which converts crypto funds received into fiat and sends the donations to the National Bank of Ukraine. This marks the first-ever instance of a cryptocurrency exchange directly cooperating with a public financial entity to provide a conduit for crypto donations.