According to a recent report by CNBC, “a Ukrainian refugee took a USB stick with him across the border containing 40% of his life savings, or about $2,000 in bitcoin.”

CNBC’s report, which was published on March 23, mentioned that “nearly a quarter of Ukraine’s population has been forced from their homes in the last four weeks” and that “many have turned to cryptocurrency to safeguard their cash, bring their money with them, accept remittances and donations, and to transact with each other for daily necessities.”

In particular, the report highlights the efforts of Fadey, a 20-year-old resident of Lviv who fled the country following Russia’s invasion. Fadey, a pseudonym to protect his identity, was able to clear the Ukrainian-Polish border before martial law made it impossible Ukrainian men aged 18 to 60 to leave the country. 

Fadey told CNBC:

I couldn’t withdraw cash at all, because the queues to ATMs were so long, and I couldn’t wait that much time.

Fadey was able to use a peer-to-peer (P2P) exchange to trade $600 worth of his Bitcoin for Polish zloty, which he then used to “pay for a bus across the border, a bed in a hostel for him and his girlfriend, and some food.”

The Ukrainian refugee also “took a USB stick with him across the border containing 40% of his life savings, or about $2,000 in bitcoin.”

Fadey said:

I could just write my seed phrase on a piece of paper and take it with me.

As CNBC notes, Fadey’s situation highlights important characteristics about Bitcoin, including its ability to cross borders, require no bank, and be tethered to its owner via a difficult-to-crack password. 

Brian Mosoff, CEO of Toronto-based crypto investment platform Ether Capital, told CNBC:

In that part of the world, crypto – despite its volatility, despite the sentiments that the West has towards it – they don’t ask, ‘Why crypto?’ They just ask, ‘How?’…

That’s a very powerful thing for a group of people who don’t have financial stability, or political stability right now. To be able to hold their net worth in some type of asset or product that essentially can be stored in a password.


The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptoassets comes with a risk of financial loss.

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