Sweeney discussed how blockchain has changed the dynamics of the conflict in Ukraine.
Introduction of blockchain and crypto in Ukraine
Patrick Sweeney emphasized the importance of courage in the face of uncertainty, a quality possessed by early adopters of technology.
He noted that 17% of the population of Ukraine have access to crypto-wallets or have been engaged in trading, which makes Ukraine one of the largest countries in the world in terms of cryptocurrency adoption.
It started before the war, when President Zelenskyi signed the Digital Assets Law, creating a safe harbor with little regulation that allowed Ukraine to take advantage of blockchain technology.
Sweeney explained how the Digital Assets Act enabled a quick, simple and easy way to help fund the war, as over the course of the conflict $70 million in cryptocurrency donations, according to some estimates 200 million dollars .
The Ukrainian government has created nine of its own wallets, not just Bitcoin, so that people can donate Ethereum, Polkadot or even Solana.
In the first few weeks, Ukraine collected about 50 million dollars of cryptocurrency thanks to donations from all over the world.
In addition, various technologies such as NFTs were used to raise funds.
For example, a well-known anti-Putin group Pussy Riot created the only NFT with the Ukrainian flag, which it collected 7.1 million dollars .
Using blockchain technology to document evidence
During the speech, Sweeney also discussed how blockchain technology is being used to document alleged war crimes in Ukraine.
This is done through a project developed by the University of Southern California in collaboration with Stanford’s Starling Lab and Hala Systems, a technology social enterprise.
The project uses blockchain to create a decentralized system documenting digital evidence which are then transferred to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
To create a permanent and tamper-proof record of evidence, Starling Lab took evidence gathered from sources like Telegram and added relevant context about where and when the information came from.
The data was then “hashed” to create a digital fingerprint, and the hash values were published to seven different blockchain protocols to create a distributed verification key for the file.
Thanks to the use of a public blockchain, information is recorded on thousands of computers independently at approximately the same time, which makes further manipulation of the data difficult.
Although this method cannot verify the underlying photo, it does create one permanent record of what it looked like at the time it was hashed, ensuring that no one can change the information later or discard evidence based on suspicion that it may have been tampered with. then.
This use of blockchain technology could revolutionize the way war crimes are documented and prosecuted, potentially enhancing accountability and promoting justice.