DeFi DeBrief #21: Crypto in Ukraine ☮️


Welcome to issue #21 of the DeFi DeBrief, your weekly digest of the biggest news in DeFi.


  • Ukraine using crypto 
  • Signs of pressure at Genesis
  • $12bn Binance outflow


Onwards 👇



War-torn Ukraine turns to crypto for payments 📱

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, crypto showed its value.

Within days, Ukraine raised some $54 million to fund its early war efforts, all in digital assets (a Crypto Punk was among the donations).

The country then legalised the status of crypto assets in March 2022. And following an announcement from one of Ukraine’s largest pharmaceutical companies, it’s clear Ukraine will continue its warm embrace of the technology.

ANC has rolled out crypto payments for pharmacy products across its 1,000 stores, offering instant, contactless transactions via Binance Pay. 

The news follows a similar move from the supermarket chain VARUS.

Why should you care?

For anyone who doubts if crypto has a use case, look to Ukraine.

The government was exploring digital assets long before the war started. But their value has come to the fore during the conflict.

The speed with which the country could raise funds showed the power of instant cross-border payments. And the ongoing integration of blockchain technology could see Ukraine become a future web3 hub.

Vitalik Buterin said, “A country can become a Web3 hub if its citizens are actively interested in this technology and decide to make a major contribution to its development. Ukraine has both the capabilities and the determination to do this.”

The war in Ukraine is a humanitarian catastrophe. But it has been fascinating to watch how crypto has enabled the country to garner widespread support.



Genesis cuts headcount by 30% 😵

Embattled lending desk Genesis has cut its headcount by 30%, following growing pressure from creditors and a looming threat of bankruptcy. Around 145 employees remain, even with the 20% layoffs last year. 

Genesis engaged bankruptcy professionals following FTX’s collapse, alongside freezing redemptions on November 11th. An ongoing Twitter feud with Gemini shows this story might reach a crescendo soon.



$12bn withdrawn from Binance in last 60 days 💸

Binance has endured its fair share of FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) these last few weeks. Following $12 billion of outflows over the previous two months, you can easily see why.

Moreover, data providers struggle to agree on how much capital Binance actually holds, causing some to question the exchange’s solvency. That said, the reports fail to consider Binance’s size or trading volumes.

The reality is: $12 billion is likely a drop in the Binance ocean.



Five short reads catching our eye this week:

  1. FTX wants its charitable donations back
  2. Staked ETH withdrawals arriving in March
  3. Mastercard launches web3 artist accelerator
  4. 30% of USDC reserves managed by BlackRock
  5. US regulators take closer look at Binance



  • BTC: $17,452.76 (3.49%, 7 days)
  • ETH: $1,335.51 (6.77%, 7 days)
  • TVL in DeFi: $41.24bn (4.04%, 7 days)
  • Fear & Greed: 26 (fear)


*Data last updated at 08:00 on 11th January.




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