A young Ukrainian wanted to flee the war with his savings. He got it with a USB key and 2,000 euros in bitcoin

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On February 24, Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. As soon as he found out, Fadey, a young man of 20, decided to flee to Poland. He did it before the authorities demanded that all men between the ages of 18 and 60 stay behind to defend the country.

In his flight, the young Ukrainian took a small treasure with him: a USB key with 40% of everything he had saved. Just about 2,0000 dollars that yes, he took in the form of bitcoins: doing it with cash would have been virtually given the situation in the country.

A hasty escape. Fadey – the young man identified himself with a pseudonym to protect his identity – explained on CNBC how to escape he first used $600 of his bitcoin savings to pay for a bus across the border, and get some food and a hostel bed for himself and his girlfriend.

That transaction was key because he was able to do it almost immediately. Two hours later, Ukraine closed its borders to all men of fighting age.

A flash drive that is a treasure. Fadey took with him a USB key containing 40% of his life savings, about $2,000 in bitcoin. With that flash drive and a password he could count on some resources to survive. As he explained, he “could write the passphrase on a piece of paper and carry it with me” to use with the key when he needed it.

Russia has invaded Ukraine on the ground.  The digital invasion had started many days ago

Bitcoin as an economic resource in the face of war. This story is a good example of what bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can mean for those affected by this type of scenario. Bitcoin is an “international” cryptocurrency, you don’t need a bank to operate with it and its access is easy as long as you have the password to your wallet — be it digital or physical — and don’t lose it, something that can be a real tragedy.

ATMs or transfers, nothing. For Fadey, that decision was critical: With the invasion underway, ATMs quickly ran out of cash, and those that did had cash allowed as little as $33 per transaction. Electronic transfers between banks were also blocked, and with a rapidly depreciating currency, the scenario of using cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin it was clear.

The young man confessed how, for example, he was affected by not being able to make transfers of his money at his bank in Ukraine: his funds in the Ukrainian fiat currency —grivna— are blocked there, but at least he has his funds in bitcoin on the USB key and also some Monero savings on the Binance exchange.

Ukraine blesses cryptocurrencies. The validity of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin in this scenario has further boosted the adoption of this system in Ukraine, which was already one of the most progressive jurisdictions in this regard. Just a few days ago, the Ukrainian rulers passed a law legalizing cryptocurrencies.

Paying with bitcoins “like Bizum” is possible. Although bitcoin is not ideal as a currency of exchange, improvements such as those offered by the Lightning network have allowed payments and donations to be made quickly and cheaply. Mobile applications such as the one offered with the wallet Muun They mean that in essence we have a kind of ‘Bizum of cryptocurrencies’ that allows users to operate in a simple way.

Image | AP

On February 24, Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. As soon as he found out, Fadey, a young man of…

On February 24, Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. As soon as he found out, Fadey, a young man of…

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