Mobile phones bring direct aid to Ukraine

Mobile phone users are donating to Ukraine through new technologies and changing the way international aid is distributed. Tech solutions such as cryptocurrencies, Airbnb and other methods are being used to send money directly to war-affected people in Ukraine.

In one Posting on Twitter, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky wrote that 434,000 nights have been booked so far on the platform, which equates to $15 million transferred to hosts in Ukraine. The outpouring of online support for Ukraine demonstrates that the future of international aid may lie in individual donations via software rather than organized charities.

“It all comes down to the power technology and vast networks companies have to connect consumers to philanthropic causes everywhere,” said Molly Trerotola, social impact manager at ShoppingGives, a commerce platform electronics that connects brands and nonprofits. an email interview.

Removal of the middleman

In the early days of the war, thousands of people booked Airbnb rooms in Ukraine even though they had no intention of staying in the country. The idea was that hosts in Ukraine would directly benefit from the money. More recently, Airbnb introduced a system where users can offer to host refugees.

“ helps fund the cost of short-term stays, and all service fees are waived, so Airbnb does not earn money on these stays,” the company wrote on its website. “As a host, you can help these funds go even further by offering free or discounted stays.”

Brands are going to play a huge role in this by giving consumers the ability to vote with their dollars.

Apple is among the companies that have simplified support for Ukrainian citizens. A banner at the top of Apple’s website features a donate button that directs you to the Music or iTunes app. Donations go through your Apple ID and you will use the payment method associated with your account.

Trerotola noted that the future of aid empowers individuals to come together to do more good and give back through innovative technology. His company, ShoppingGives, allows businesses to embed a method of donating money to charitable causes into their websites. “Brands are going to play a huge role in this by giving consumers the ability to vote with their dollars,” Trerotola added.

Crypto goes to war

Sergei Shulgin/Getty Images

Crypto users also support the Ukrainian government. Ukraine has received over $50 million in crypto donations since the war began, according to research by blockchain analytics firm Elliptic.

On February 26, Twitter accounts belonging to the Ukrainian government posted requests for crypto-asset donations. So far, the Bitcoin, Ethereum, TRON, Polkadot, Dogecoin and Solana addresses listed in the tweets have received donations worth $54.4 million.

But would-be donors should beware, Steven Bumbera, chief operating officer of cryptocurrency organization Many Worlds Token, said in an email interview.

“There is no app used for this and be pretty sure that if someone invites you to download an unknown app to donate crypto to Ukraine, it’s probably a scam,” he said. -he declares.

The only app you need to donate crypto is a wallet such as MetaMask or TrustWallet, Bumbera said. Ukraine posted an official tweet with their wallet address, which is like a public accounting/routing number combination that doesn’t need to be secure. To donate crypto to an organization in Ukraine, you need three things. The first is a wallet for storing, sending and receiving cryptos. The second is an exchange such as Coinbase, or Binance. The third is the wallet address of the person or organization you want to donate to. Some charities accept crypto donations directly, including Come Back Alive, Ukraine DAO, and Kyiv Independent, an English-language Ukrainian newspaper that monitors the war from the ground.

“Aid distribution will be a major challenge during this war in Ukraine and after the war,” Konstantyn Perederiy, senior vice president at Customertimes, a consulting firm with employees in Ukraine, told Lifewire via email. . “Digital infrastructure, including apps and web applications, will play one of the key roles in this process due to the complexity of aid delivery, which will increase in the future. Aid will include the restoration of real estate and many humanitarian needs.

Editors’ Recommendations

Casey J. Nelson