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Pussy Riot Helps Newly Formed UkraineDAO Mobilize Support and Raise Funds Via NFTs

Pussy Riot has helped form UkraineDAO to provide support to embattled Ukrainians.

Pussy Riot Helps Newly Formed UkraineDAO Mobilize Support and Raise Funds Via NFTs

Pussy Riot, the famed feminist punk protest group, helped form a DAO on Thursday to assist Ukrainians as they cope with the Russian invasion of their country.

The newly formed UkraineDAO immediately attracted thousands of followers to its Twitter and Discord accounts. In addition to Pussy Riot, the group includes core members representing PleasrDAO, the DeFi collective from which FreeRossDAO spun out, and Trippy Labs, an NFT studio. 

The group is currently organizing an NFT drop issuing tokens with all proceeds raised donated to organizations supporting Ukraine. The minting price will be set at 0.08241991 as a tribute to Ukraine’s Declaration of Independence on Aug. 24, 1991. NFT minting is expected to go live on Feb 26.

“Our goal is to raise funds to donate to Ukrainian civilian organizations who help those suffering from the war that Putin started in Ukraine,” Pussy Riot tweeted. “We’ll be buying an NFT of the Ukrainian flag.”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 has triggered an outpouring of support for the nation’s embattled citizens from across the global crypto community. 

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Supporters are working together to raise funds for Ukraine’s resistance to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s  aggression. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin expressed support for Ukraine on social media, while more than $400,000 worth of Bitcoin was donated to local NGO, Come Back Alive, within 12 hours.

Several other initiatives are rapidly gaining steam from within the crypto community. That includes Unchain Fund, a DAO supported by Near co-founder Ilia Polushkin, and HoleDAO, which is currently raising funds via Juicebox and promoting Ukrainian non-profits.

Unchain Fund appears to be exploring merging forces with UkraineDAO, while HoleDAO told The Defiant it is also looking to pool resources with other decentralized organizations to support Ukraine.

The Defiant spoke to UkraineDAO co-founder, CryptoSteve, to learn more about how it was formed and some of the challenges it is now facing. The Defiant also forwarded questions to early contributor Trippy, who curated the FreeRossDAO NFT collection and founded Trippy Labs. His replies were edited with assistance from Nadya Tolokonnikova, a core member of both UkraineDAO and the famed Russian political activist group, Pussy Riot.

Uniting to Save Lives

“We purposefully avoided adding our own art to this release, in a way it’s a strong conceptual artistic statement from Nadya and I,” said Trippy. “People can have different aesthetics, but it’s not about what color we prefer now, it’s about uniting to save lives. The Ukrainian flag unites us.”

He noted that several major crypto entities have pledged to support the initiative, including OpenSea, Moonpay, and Origin Protocol. A one-of-a-kind NFT drop is also being organized to raise additional funds.

However, the Twitter account was reported and flagged for several hours shortly after launching, suggesting proponents of Russia’s military campaign may be seeking to limit the DAO’s reach. “Thankfully we have people inside Twitter who will help us,” said Trippy and Tolokonnikova.

“Cryptocurrency can be sent across borders… getting the dollars there will be harder… thatll take multiple days.”

CryptoSteve

Individuals that want to support the initiative are encouraged to help drive awareness for the DAO’s fundraising plans on social media, help share links to nonprofits providing assistance to Ukrainians, and compile “unbiased factual information” concerning the conflict 

“Our goal is to raise funds to donate to Ukrainian civilian organizations who help those suffering from the war that Putin started in Ukraine,” said Trippy and Tolokonnikova.  They emphasized that all funds raised will be donated to civilian organizations operating within Ukraine.

The DAO is also creating an Ethereum Name Service-hosted website to take in standard crypto donations, in addition to “Boomer Web 1.0” campaigns using GoFundMe, PayPal, and other non-crypto funding platforms. 

The group will also be live-streaming on the OhhShiny show via Twitter Spaces at 11 am EST on Feb. 25.

Stablecoin Volumes

CryptoSteve emphasized the group’s preference to receive donations in the form of crypto assets. “Cryptocurrency can be sent across borders… getting the dollars there will be harder… that’ll take multiple days,” he said.

Ukraine’s central bank has suspended e-cash transfers as part of its nationwide declaration of martial law. CNBC reports that stablecoin volumes on local exchanges have surged following the news.

Steve added that UkraineDAO is still discussing which nonprofits will be the beneficiaries of the organization’s fundraising activities.

“Right now, we’re still evaluating that,” he said, emphasizing the importance of having DAO members that are on the ground in Ukraine. “I can’t opine there, I don’t know anything about which are the real groups in the Ukraine and which ones are fake.” 

Trippy and Tolokonnikova said that Come Back Alive, an aid and open reporting organization, and Proliska, a humanitarian mission, will likely receive donations from the DAO.

“As the conflict in Ukraine escalates, we must remember the innocent lives being impacted across the region,” they added. “We will be maintaining an ongoing thread of nonprofits active in Ukraine that you can donate crypto to.”

CryptoSteve emphasized the DAO’s organic and decentralized origins, noting that what began two days ago as a three-person Telegram channel rapidly grew into an international movement. Initially, the group comprised Steve, plus UkraineDAO co-founder and FreeRossDAO member Alona, and a third individual who is also affiliated with FreeRossDAO.

Steve notes that the group rapidly grew and gained traction among other individuals associated with PleasrDAO and FreeRossDAO, including Tolokonnikova and Trippy.

No Tokenomics

“As it grew, people started taking on responsibilities organically,” Steve said. “It was all about being of service. Everybody is donating their time, their energy, their resources, their teams.”

Steve added that no DAO members are requesting reimbursement for their contributions.

“This is not for profit, there’s no token, there’s no tokenomics… It’s a donation.”

Steve added that all of the DAO’s actions have been determined by community polls. “Everyone in the DAO has a voice in how the DAO speaks… this is pure democracy,” he said. 

“There are natural leaders amongst us, but the real leader is in each individual,” Trippy and Tolokonnikova said. “If this entire team organizes to utilize individual talents and skills to help our cause, we can make an incredible impact to help the people of Ukraine through this dark time. Everyone can contribute their skills, talents, and general ability to network. Also all donations no matter what size will matter.”

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