American cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has announced that it shall donate $1,000 in bitcoin (BTC) to each of the Ukrainian citizens who opened an account with the exchange before March 10, 2022. Overall, the total amount of funds that Kraken intends to donate to Ukrainians is over $10 million.
Kraken’s initiative aims at supporting the needy at a time when Ukraine is under attack by its neighbor, Russia. It is one among the worldwide support that Ukraine is receiving from the crypto community in terms of crypto donations the majority of the previous donations have been sent to crypto wallet addresses shared owned by the Ukraine government.
Kraken’s CEO Jesse Powell commented on the matter saying:
“We hope to continue being able to provide critical financial services in a time of need to both our clients in Ukraine and Russia. Cryptocurrency remains an important humanitarian tool, especially at a time when many around the world can no longer rely on traditional banks and custodians.”
Free conversion and immediate withdrawals
Once the Ukrainian Kraken account holders receive their donations, they will be free to withdraw the funds immediately. Besides the $1000 donation in bitcoin, Kraken shall also be distributing $1000 Kraken Fee Credits to allow the beneficiaries of the donations to make conversions at zero cost.
Kraken went ahead and explained that the $10 million worth of bitcoin that it wishes to donate to Ukrainians equals the total trading fees obtained from Russian-based clients within the first months of 2022. It is in a show of Kraken’s disapproval of the ongoing military operation in Ukraine and Kraken does not feel it is worthy benefiting from any transactions made by Russians.
Exchanges reaction to the Ukrainian invasion
Immediately Russia began its military operation in Ukraine, Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov made a plea to the leading crypto exchanges to freeze all addresses belonging to Russian users.
Binance and Kraken did not however agree with the prime minister’s plea, with Binance arguing that “crypto is meant to provide greater financial freedom,” and such a move would go against the core value of the industry. Binance also went ahead to say that a majority of those accounts belong to innocent individuals who are not for the war. Binance views of the cryptocurrency industry being about freedom were supported by Kraken.
Coinbase, on the other hand, went ahead and blocked about 25,000 addresses belonging to Russian clients supposedly connected to the ongoing war.