As developments within Ukraine continue to evolve, the Come Back Alive (CBA) foundation claims to be supporting the Ukrainian military by accepting donations on their behalf. Founded in 2014 and based in Kyiv, CBA linked a Patreon account to their contributions page but was recently removed from the platform.
The majority of the funds have been received over the last few days since the CBA was removed from Patreon. Chief Scientist and Co-Founder of Elliptic Tom Robinson Tweeted that a huge uptick in donations occurred from February 22nd-24th. Over $400,000 was donated to the CBA’s Bitcoin address during that time.
The address has currently received over $5 million (~128 BTC) worth of bitcoin while four separate bitcoins have been sent to other addresses (amounts as of publishing). All funds are being reported on a live spreadsheet where patrons can see how the funds are being disbursed.
Patreon wrote to CNBC in an email that any campaign that is involved in violence or purchasing of military equipment is not allowed on Patreon. Representatives have stated that the CBA campaign is still under investigation. Patreon is still deciding whether or not to give the CBA all the remaining funds or a full refund to all patrons.
For something as time sensitive as an invasion, many people who depend on those donations may not be able to wait for a decision to be made. For example, Francesco Madonna claims in a tweet that his webmaster was able to escape Ukraine just before the government closed the border to men in the age range of 18-60 years old.
Madonna’s webmaster was unable to withdraw or send funds from banks and ATMs prior to leaving. The only funds he could take with him were in Bitcoin. Without the need for a third-party, funds are able to be donated and used by anyone with Bitcoin.