As of Saturday morning, Ukraine has received $57 million in cryptocurrency donations to aid its defense against Russia, according to blockchain tracker Elliptic. The New York Times and others have called that amount “a drop in the bucket in the context of the conflict,” but it is no small amount in any context, and it is $57 million Ukraine is happy to receive.

Of that total, $6.75 million in ETH came from Ukraine DAO, a decentralized autonomous organization formed by the founder of the band Pussy Riot, which raised the funds by selling a simple NFT of the Ukrainian flag.

I can’t imagine a better argument right now for the power of DAOs and NFTs.

DAOs in particular could use the reputation help. After mainstream fascination last fall around ConstitutionDAO, which raised more than $40 million but failed to get its prize, the more recent press treatment of DAOs has turned mocking after one DAO purchased the “Dune Bible,” a script for a “Dune” film that was never made, and mistakenly thought that owning the physical document would give them IP rights to the content. Sneering tech press gleefully covered the group’s confusion with headlines like this one from Kotaku: “Crypto Losers Buy Copy Of Jodorowsky’s Dune, Have Played Themselves.” The Verge this week had the more judicious take: Spice DAO is “more interesting, and maybe more earnest, than a deluge of Twitter dunks suggested.”

DAOs certainly have their design flaws. They have been described as internet groups with a wallet, which is accurate (if imprecise) and also helps convey why it’s hard to believe they are the…


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