At least £10,000 worth of Scotcoin, Scotland’s first and only digital currency, has been transferred to the country to help provide much-needed goods and services.
Funds from the Glasgow-based firm are part of more than £37.5 million of crypto gifted to the Ukrainian nation and non-governmental organisations so far.
The move follows calls from Ukraine for donations of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Polkadot and Tether currencies, amid fears the war could cause chaos for the regular banking sector, leaving people without access to cash or rendering it worthless.
Temple Melville, chief executive of Scotcoin Project Community Interest Company (CIC), says the currency is playing “an incredibly important role” in supporting the people of Ukraine and fulfilling the function it was initially created for.
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He contends digital funds are more secure than traditional money and can be transferred in milliseconds without involving big transaction fees.
“We are all deeply moved by what we have seen happening in Ukraine,” he said.
“It is a human tragedy on a scale that is difficult to process.
“For many people, including ourselves, the most practical way to provide support is through donations, and cryptocurrency is one of the best ways of ensuring it gets to the intended recipient securely and quickly.
“This is exactly the type of situation cryptocurrency was set up to help, and the vast amount of it that has been sent to the Ukrainian government and organisations on the ground demonstrates the power it has to support those in need.”
He says the transparency involved in crypto transfers is an important factor in situations such as this.
“Anyone can view transactions on the blockchain and check donations have been delivered to the address intended,” he said.
“While there have been calls to block Russian users, the way the networks are set up mean their transactions could also be easily traced too.
“The Ukrainian government has indicated it will start to take more cryptocurrencies soon, opening up more opportunities to directly donate to a country that desperately needs our help.”
Scotcoin aims to use its currency – known as SCOT and part of the Ethereum network – as a vehicle to drive meaningful change for the economy, environment and society.
It’s thought to be the only purpose-driven cryptocurrency in existence, with funds being used to support social and environmental projects at home and abroad – including tree-planting schemes and seaweed cultivation in Scotland.
The company is actively building a network of organisations, including start-ups, that will trade locally in the currency and support the project’s mission.
Target industries include those with significant issues of over-supply or waste, where goods and services can be diverted to people in need, and in green initiatives such as carbon capture and offset.
Scotcoin made its donation through BBX UK, a network where organisations can use cryptocurrency to buy spare products and services from other companies.
Five billion SCOT have been created – and there will be no more.
Two billion have been issued and three billion retained by Scotcoin in treasury – of which 20 million will be released annually to deliver social and environmental aims.