Ukraine-based blockchain company Everstake has been accused of being part of a network involving Kiev, Democratic politicians and cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
As part of its maneuvers to raise more funds for the war effort, the Ukrainian government launched the “Aid for Ukraine” website, which made it possible to receive cryptocurrency donations. These donations were then converted to fiat currency and deposited with the National Bank of Ukraine. Contributions would be used to purchase a range of supplies from medical supplies to military clothing.
The Ministry of Digital Transformation has teamed up with FTX, Ukrainian exchange Kuna and Everstake to facilitate cryptocurrency donations, which have totaled between $60 million and $100 million.
Due to former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s massive donations to Democratic lawmakers and the timing between the fund’s creation and President Joe Biden’s billions in financial and military aid to Kyiv, many believe these financial transactions are suspicious. Opponents believe Ukraine invested in FTX to funnel the money back to the Democratic Party.
According to Sergey Vasylchuk, CEO of Everstake, it is ridiculous to believe that the Ukrainian government would invest in private companies during wartime and use vital resources for political gain. “invested in the needs of families” with the help received.
He added that the platform set up to collect donations was chaotic at the start of the conflict.
“It was a mess then”he declared. “For my part, I never saw it as a formidable scam. As for me, when it is said that Ukraine invests in companies, I am simply not aware of it. »
Sergey Vasylchuk confirmed that he had never interacted with Sam Bankman-Fried and explained that FTX played only a minor role in fundraising.
“We have six people who were part of the compliance legal team that helped get the ‘Aid for Ukraine’ project off the ground”he declared.
Cryptocurrency has become an essential tool in the military conflict in Eastern Europe.
In recent months, pro-Russian organizations have accepted cryptocurrency donations, raising millions of dollars in digital currency that will then be used to support Moscow’s military campaign.
After the collapse of FTX, many concerns were raised about a possible contagion effect. Cryptocurrency prices have plummeted, cryptocurrency-related businesses have collapsed, and many investors in the Bankman-Fried empire are now financially strained.
But Sergey Vasylchuk says Everstake weathers the storm by holding diversified assets and because the company has always been very knowledgeable. Finally, Everstake uses a variety of wallets to ensure the safety of its assets.
Ukrainian officials have also spoken out about the recent allegations, including Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation Oleksandr Bornyakov, calling them a “nonsense”.
“A crypto fundraising foundation @_AidForUkraine used @FTX_Official to convert crypto donations into fiat in March. The Ukrainian government has never invested money in FTX. The whole story that Ukraine invested in FTX, which gave money to the Democrats, is simply absurd.”he wrote in one tweet last week.
The Aid for Ukraine site was recently removed and replaced by “UNITED24”.
“UNITED24 was launched by President Volodymyr Zelensky as the main charity donation collection venue for Ukraine. The money will be transferred to the official accounts of the National Bank of Ukraine and allocated by the relevant ministries to meet the most urgent needs.”says the new website.
The site also informs visitors: “We are looking for companies or companies that can help Ukraine with specific needs. »
Washington is investigating FTX’s ties to Ukraine
A growing number of US officials are puzzled by these statements.
Several Republicans in the House of Representatives, led by Representative Troy Nehls (Republican-Texas), said in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken that it was up to their “Beware that billions of taxpayer dollars sent to Ukraine to aid in its war effort may have been invested in a crypto exchange, leading to huge donations to the Democrats” during midterm election campaigns.
“While this partnership is touted as a way to help Ukraine raise crypto donations for munitions and humanitarian aid, we are deeply concerned that the Ukrainian government may have invested portions of nearly $66 billion in U.S. economic aid to FTX to keep the Democrats in power and keep the money flowing”the MPs explain in the letter (pdf) obtained exclusively by Fox Business.
“We sincerely hope that the main driver behind the billions in congressional aid to Ukraine was not the Democrats trying to stay in power, and that none of the missing funds were used as a pass. the pockets of the Democrats. »
A spokesperson for the State Department told Fox Business that no “no reason to believe that these rumors are anything other than outright lies and misinformation.”
The House Financial Services Committee, led by Rep. Maxine Waters (Democrat-California), and Rep. Patrick McHenry (Republican-North Carolina) announced a bipartisan hearing on the FTX debacle and what it could mean for the digital asset industry. The committee plans to hear from Sam Bankman-Fried and other members of FTX, Alameda Research, Binance and other entities in connection with this bankruptcy.
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