Everstake, a Ukraine-based blockchain company, has created a rap video featuring Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov to urge the crypto community to keep donating to charitable organisation Aid For Ukraine.

Aid For Ukraine raises funds from the crypto community for the benefit of Ukraine’s military and humanitarian needs. It has raised over $60 million worth of cryptocurrency since its launch, of which over $45m has already been spent on first aid kits, ration packs, bulletproof vests and other procurements. 

The initiative is co-powered by Everstake, Kuna, FTX, and the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine.

You can watch the amusing and creative video below.

Sergey Vasylchuk, CEO and co-founder of Everstake, said: “Peace comes at a price, but the first wave of donations has subsided. Cryptocurrencies are free from red-tape hurdles, which makes them the most efficient way to provide fast help. 

“Every crypto contribution, no matter big or small, is another nail in the coffin of totalitarianism. Helping Ukraine fight off the invasion means helping us save the free world from enslavement.”

Everstake and its co-founders Sergey Vasylchuk and Yev Zaifert have made crypto donations to Ukraine amounting to $10m. Zaifert alone donated $9m. They funded Aid For Ukraine and other initiatives, including the charitable foundation of Kyiv School of Economics.

The rap video was produced by the Kyiv-based creative agency Bickerstaff.734. Ilia Anufreinko, creative director of Bickerstaff.734, said: “People rarely think about peace as an investment. But if there is no peace, there will be no opportunity to pump your Lamborghini or get an alpaca farm.

“It’s a very unusual communication campaign, so we believe it will stand out and attract more crypto donations.”

Former Snap engineers raise $36.8m for ‘Gen-Z metaverse’

BUD, a metaverse user-generated platform, has raised $36.8 million in a Series B round.

Founded in 2019 by former Snap engineers Risa Feng and Shawn Lin, Singapore-headquartered BUD is a global platform encouraging users to create and share 3D interactive experiences with its easy-to-use creation tools.

To date, over 15 million 3D experiences and assets have been created on the platform and user-generated 3D assets have been traded more than 150 million times. Since its global launch in November 2021, BUD skyrocketed to the list of top 10 social apps in more than 38 countries around the world including North America, Southeast Asia and South America.

The round was led by Sequoia Capital India with participation from ClearVue Partners, NetEase and Northern Light Venture Capital. 

Existing investors GGV Capital, Qiming Venture Partners and Source Code Capital also participated in the round.

The company intends to use the fresh funding to further develop its creation tools, grow its global user base and roll out web3 products for its metaverse ecosystem. The company has revealed clear plans to launch its own NFT marketplace.

Its mobile-native creation tools require no prior coding knowledge. Without providing any preset 3D templates, BUD allows creators to build 3D experiences from scratch by using geometric modules and interactive props. 

Apart from adding texts, pictures, music and videos to enrich experiences, lighting and sky-box can be adjusted as well to create an immersive environment. 

BUD claims its users are young digital natives, “most of whom are teenage girls who likely do not have any coding experience but are creative and love self-expression”. 

Cryptocurrency shorts

Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey has said parts of the crypto world are “deluded” in response to arguments that Russian sanctions shouldn’t apply to crypto because they are outside the economic system. He told Jimmy’s Jobs of the Future podcast: “I think there’s a lot of promise and a lot of use being made of these technological innovations already. And I would expect that to continue… [but] I don’t think [Bitcoin] has any intrinsic value. To be honest with you. I’m probably not liked by the advocates of Bitcoin because of that.”

Leading stablecoin Tether has paid out $10bn in withdrawals since the start of the crypto crash earlier this month as users move their holdings to more heavily-regulated alternatives. It remains pegged at $1.

Crypto app Pebble, which aims to bring ‘the next 100 million people’ into the space, has raised $6.2m in seed funding. Investors include Y Combinator plus angel investors NFL star Odell Beckham Jr, Muse lead singer Matthew Bellamy and Richard Ma, CEO of blockchain audit firm Quantstamp.

A Fed Reserve report estimates that 12% Of American adults invested in crypto in 2021 and were “disproportionately high-income, almost always had a traditional banking relationship, and typically had other retirement savings”.

Funding into African crypto startups grew by more than 1,000% in 2022, with the majority of venture capital funding in the region heading into FinTech companies and crypto exchanges, according to The African Blockchain Report 2021 by Crypto Valley Venture Capital and Standard Bank.

Crypto prices

The overall market cap of the more than 19,500 coins is at $1.26 trillion at the time of writing (7am UK), a decrease of 2.3% in the last 24 hours.

Market leader Bitcoin – the original cryptocurrency created by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto – lost 3% to around $29,350. BTC is 4% down in a week.

Ethereum, the second most valuable crypto coin – created as a decentralised network for smart contracts on the blockchain – dropped 3% to below $2,000. ETH is 5% down over the course of a week.

Binance Coin is a cryptocurrency created by popular crypto exchange Binance to assist its aim in becoming the infrastructure services provider for the entire blockchain ecosystem. Its BNB token gained 1% to $327, leaving it 7% up over seven days.

The XRP token of Ripple, a payment settlement asset exchange and remittance system, acts as a bridge for transfers between other currencies. XRP lost 3% to 41 cents and is 6% down over seven days.

Cardano is an open source network facilitating dApps which considers itself to be an updated version of Ethereum. Its ADA token, designed to allow owners to participate in the operation of the network, shed 4% to below 52c. It is 10% down over the course of a week.

Solana is a blockchain built to make decentralised finance accessible on a larger scale – and capable of processing 50,000 transactions per second. Its SOL token lost 5% to below $50 yet is down 12% compared with a week ago.

Meme coin DOGE was created as a satire on the hype surrounding cryptocurrencies but is now a major player in the space. DOGE dropped 2% to 8.4c, leaving it 7% down in a week.

Polkadot was founded by the Swiss-based Web3 Foundation as an open-source project to develop a decentralised web. Its DOT token, which aims to securely connect blockchains, fell 2% to below $10 and is 11% lower than its price a week ago.

Avalanche is a lightning-quick verifiable platform for institutions, enterprises and governments. Its AVAX token shed 6% to $29.34 and is 15% down in a week.

To see how the valuations of the main coins have changed in recent times – and for round-ups of recent cryptocurrency news developments – click here.

For valuations of the top 100 coins by market cap in US dollars, plus 24-hour price change, see below.