‘Stand With Ukraine’ NFTs uniting a divided nation

on Mar 7, 2022
  • Ikonia aims to raise $430,302,531 with their first Ukraine-NFT
  • The first launch contains NFTs of $10 each
  • 100% of all funds raised are donated to charity

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It’s been 11 days since Russia invaded Ukraine, marking the start of yet another war. In reaction to this, NFT platform Ikonia launched one of the most accessible digital assets to date in an effort to support various charities working to help Ukraine and its people. Invezz spoke with Patrik Arnesson, CEO at Ikonia, on their recent and yet to launch NFT projects.

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The launch of Ikonia

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Patrik’s love for art and technology has been the driving force behind the creation of Ikonia. With previous experience in gaming and the building of applications, his interest in NFTs was peaked and Ikonia and its first NFT projects were born. He realized what NFTs are about and how the middle man in art dealership is cut out of the equation, allowing direct relationships between people to be built as well as them [NFTs] aiding in a creative revolution and lowering the bar for anyone to create and sell their creative work. 

About the project

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To help raise money for causes benefitting the Ukrainian people, Kyiv and Gothenburg based incubator and NFT platform, Ikonia will be launching a number of different projects. One of these will include 43,302,531 NFTs for sale – each representing a Ukrainian national.  Ikonia aims to raise $430,302,531, with these proceeds going to one of the three Ukrainian charities vetted by Ikonia, which can be chosen by the buyer. The three charities are: Return Alive, Everybody Can, and Ukraine Humanitarian Fund.

The NFTs will be on sale for $10 each and can be purchased using a credit/debit card, unlike most NFTs which require to be bought using crypto, ensuring the collection is accessible to not only NFT gurus, but the wider public too. Each edition of the ‘Stand With Ukraine’ NFT has been designed in collaboration with New York-based artist Felipe Posada, who worked on the design for free as a token of his support for the project. 

War and art helping Ukraine unite

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Last November, Ikonia decided to use their platform to raise funds for charity, having collected over $500,000 with their Berlin Wall-themed NFT. But then the war in Ukraine broke out, and with most of Ikonia’s team being Kyiv-based, they launched another project aiming to raise money to donate to organizations helping in Ukraine with 100% of the proceeds going to one of the three charities. 

Previously, the platform had reached out to a number of others such as artists, creative agencies and designers in an effort to collaborate, but these calls were often left unanswered. Since the start of the war, however, many of these people are reaching back out to Ikonia to help them build their NFT projects, offering help from all over the world. Ikonia is aiming to get involved with the Ukrainian government as well, in an effort to join forces and work on an even larger project. Patrik: “In all this sadness, it is beautiful to see so many people come together and do something creative.” 

This newfound solidarity isn’t limited to the world of art, however. Within Ukraine and amongst its communities, people are coming together more than ever before. Patrik: “Ever since my first visit to Ukraine, I have never seen its people this united. Ever.” 

The country has had problems with citizens distrusting the government for decades, facing a lot of corruption. With Zelensky becoming president in 2019, citizens wrote him off as yet another corrupt leader, and even those that voted for him remained sceptical. Since the start of the war, however, many Ukrainians feel impressed with the government’s approach, gaining trust back in their leaders. Patrik: “I think Zelensky really managed to unite Ukraine more than ever before and put trust back in place. In a way, Putin has made Ukraine more united, which is the exact opposite of what he’s trying to achieve.”

Shift in the way charities operate

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Whilst there are many organizations out there doing amazing work for a variety of causes, there are a lot of costs involved in running these projects as well as the actual raising of funds. With projects such as Patrik’s, all costs are cut off. Raising money with NFTs is basically free. 

Moreover, many people are opposed to giving money to charity as they get nothing in return or don’t trust the real destination of their donation. On the other hand, many people are still sceptical about NFTs as they are often deemed useless. Combining NFTs with charity opens up a whole new world of possibilities, as donators not only help charity, they get a piece of art with it, and those buying the NFT are doing good with their purchase.

Other projects to come

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The “Stand with Ukraine” NFT is just the start of Ikonia’s efforts to raise funds for charity. Over the course of the next days and weeks, other projects will be launched. 

One of the concepts in the works is to launch an NFT that would allow buyers to buy a vertical square metre in the country of Ukraine, making the buyer an “e-Citizen”. Putin’s war fund is worth 650 billion dollars. Ukraine is 600 billion square metres big. The idea is to raise the same amount of money that Putin is spending on his military. 

A second idea is to transform Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky into an action film hero, redesigning classic blockbuster posters with the nations’ leader as an NFT, in line with his previous career as a TV actor.

The final concept Patrik revealed is also his favourite; stealing Russia. This idea would consist of NFTs being sold of stereotypical Russian items, such as their iconic vodka, the Russian flag, and other classic items. 

Keep an eye on Ikonia’s platform for the launch of these projects, or get involved with their existing NFTs on their website here.

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