The Solana Podcast

ukraine.sol Ep #60

Episode Summary

On a special episode of the Solana Podcast, Sergey Vasylchuk (CEO, Everstake) talks about Aid for Ukraine, a DAO created by Everstake and endorsed by the government of Ukraine and Anatoly Yakovenko to support Ukraine during the ongoing crisis — and how it came together on Nation. 00:38 - Intro 02:51 - Origin of the initiative / How it works 06:25 - Ukrainian government receiving FIAT currency 09:13 - Banking, a legacy system 10:04 - News on the ground 12:39 - What can people do to get involved DISCLAIMER The information on this podcast is provided for educational, informational, and entertainment purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness, or fitness for any particular purpose. The information contained in or provided from or through this podcast is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, investment advice, trading advice, or any other advice. The information on this podcast is general in nature and is not specific to you, the user or anyone else. You should not make any decision, financial, investment, trading or otherwise, based on any of the information presented on this podcast without undertaking independent due diligence and consultation with a professional broker or financial advisor.

Episode Notes

On a special episode of the Solana Podcast, Sergey Vasylchuk (CEO, Everstake) talks about Aid for Ukraine, a DAO created by Everstake and endorsed by the government of Ukraine and Anatoly Yakovenko to support Ukraine during the ongoing crisis — and how it came together on Nation.

00:38 -  Intro
02:51 - Origin of the initiative / How it works
06:25 - Ukrainian government receiving FIAT currency 
09:13 - Banking, a legacy system
10:04 - News on the ground
12:39 - What can people do to get involved

DISCLAIMER

The information on this podcast is provided for educational, informational, and entertainment purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness, or fitness for any particular purpose.

The information contained in or provided from or through this podcast is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, investment advice, trading advice, or any other advice.

The information on this podcast is general in nature and is not specific to you, the user or anyone else. You should not make any decision, financial, investment, trading or otherwise, based on any of the information presented on this podcast without undertaking independent due diligence and consultation with a professional broker or financial advisor.

 

Austin (00:09):

Hello, and welcome to a special episode of the Solana podcast, I'm Austin Federa. Today we're joined by Sergey Vasylchuk, who's the CEO of Everstake, but we're actually not here to talk today about Everstake. We're here to talk about aid for Ukraine, and the situation in Ukraine and the project that Sergey and a bunch of others from the Ukraine and connected to the Ukraine have launched. Which is a fundraising effort to help raise money that's urgently needed for the government and for people there. Sergey welcome and thanks for joining us today.

Sergey Vasylchuk (00:39):

Yeah. Hi guys. Thank you for listening and thank you for helping us in this difficult situation. And yeah,the  situation in Ukraine is quite terrible. So we have been protecting our country for close to a week and we are struggling with one of the biggest armies in the world. But we still resist and sure, we'll win soon. But this will need... It's not just a magic maker, many of the people trying to protect their country, military are dying, military are fighting, the civilian are also trying to do all they can. And generalization is that every citizen of the Ukraine, it doesn't depend where he is located and what he can do, they do something. I do not know anyone who just sits in the idle and observes the news. First, probably two days for me was shock. 

I cannot believe what has happened. I was just stuck to the news and seeing what is going on, calling some relatives, asking what I can do to help and what's going on? It's just shock. And I was stuck, but sooner or later, I had the conversation with Anatoly Yakovenko from Solana, he is originally Ukrainian. He asked me, "Hey guys, what is going on? How are we going to help you? Let's do something." I said, "Yeah, I cannot sit and cry, and wait and I need to do something." And it was the case when we started to understand that we need some impact. And that's why we decided to start this activity.

Austin (02:17):

So the process here that's been running on is there's Ukraine.soul, which is a Bonfida name routing layer address, that routes to a wallet that's controlled by a MultiSig Dow on Solana. You can go to nation.io/dow/Ukraine, you can see this there too. There's about $1.45 million contributed so far, as well as several NFTs from projects that will also be sold and liquidated to generate funds here. There's a lot of different efforts, raising different kinds of crypto to aid the government and the people. What was sort of your thought to do this, to start this up? And can you talk a little bit about how the country's actually involved as well in the government?

Sergey Vasylchuk (02:59):

Well we have quite an unusual ministry, which called Ministry of the Digital Transformation. It was created a few years ago, and many of the politicians were skeptical and it was a bit like late in the day. It's just few guys from the IT ground. They will not change nothing. But for the least two year guys made the great application. We probably have the digital ID have digital, driver license, have the digital vaccination certificate, whatever. So it go digital. The many of the services, the country are become in our smartphone. And those guys are quite trustworthy and respectable in our community. They just start to accept the donation, in any form of the money that is available. And you should understand that currently there is marshal law in the Ukraine and central bank put limitation that is hard to transact in the foreign countries, foreign currency, sorry for us is Euro a dollar.

So for example, I cannot transfer some USD to any other recipient outside, Ukraine. And many of the volunteer organization need to pay because, for example, night vision, like equipment or other stuff is outside Ukraine. So crypto become the obvious things to transact probably the only without the bureaucracy without need to go to the bank because, it's impossible to go through the bank in the middle of Ukraine is war is real war. So why crypto is obvious why government` and Montesquieu is because I was asking for many of partners asked me how we can help you. And I said, Hey, just donate. Many of them were skeptical. But what the source of this donation who are controlled those money, can you guarantee us that this money will be controlled by some legitimately people?

And yeah, it was a good question. I was calling the guys from this ministry that the digital ministry and say, can you help us to make it more legitimate? Hey, make some, posting the Twitter with this other, they say, yes, of course we can, we can do. So I take some of the guys is deputy of the ministry, which have provide his own Solana key to the Montesquieu. I also call him like few respectable companies, founders of these companies in the Ukraine who are well known. They also provide their keys and we create the Montesquieu with like 60% of the threshold and linked our Twitters to each of the keys to be transparent. So everyone see who is signing, what is signing and is blockchain is totally transparent. You can go to this nation now, which like Solana and see our dow and see what is going on.

Austin (05:56):

Yeah. The multisig is also, I mean, if you just think about the logistics of operating in a war zone, you don't know who's available to sign a transaction at any specific place. So having it split up into a multisig that has a proportional threshold requirement just allows the whole project to be much more nimble. So, funds that are create are, are collected into the, this Dow they're they're then going to the request from the government is pretty much to receive Fiat currency at the end. Is that correct?

Sergey Vasylchuk (06:25):

Yeah. There is two problems here. Problem one is there marshal law with restriction. Problems two that currently in the Ukraine, there are not much exchanges, which are able to transaction the, in the hryvnia or in the foreign currents that we need to convert. And if there are some, they are not very scalable and sometimes vendors, don't have the crypto. So we trying to find the way to make it sustainable, unlimited, out ramped solution to be able to liquidate crypto and to put this to the account and second issue here that also people need to know that we are spending money , in the right hand, in the proper proportion and so on. So, and you should understand that the only trustworthy for the everyone, outside the Ukraine is government. So government is resisting, is successfully resisting for the biggest army in the world.

So, you can put the there, reputation, yeah this is guys who are saving us. So that's why, we are going to you to build this unlimited gateway and put money directly to the central bank. Why central bank, because they own entity who is able to transact freely with outside the world. And they have special account, which were opened recently to all donation for the military operation, for the humanitarian operation, whatever. And we going to fund those accounts. After we try this to the sound scale amount, not significant amount. I believe that 1 million is not significant amount to have the impact in this strategy war, will we try to advertise this solution for the wide, for the wide audience? I want to build these something that would allow like every, every crypto holder, like down the Bennett from the, his size, it'll be hamster or whale, to donate any impact, as easy as $1, the 10 million, this is something that we going to build. Probably just tomorrow.

Austin (08:35):

Yeah. That's I mean, that's great to hear. And especially the ability of crypto to step in here and be a transfer medium that works 24/7, 365 days a year, even with the restrictions of having to get to Fiat currency at some point, it means that at least, you know, what's in the account and you're not waiting on banking hours in order for this to happen. And I think there's, there's probably also a safety component too, where people can donate in a more anonymous fashion compared to having to donate with a credit card or an accountant transfer. If, they themselves are in a situation where it may not be safe for them, maybe they're inside of Russia and they're actually still donating, you know, to something like this.

Sergey Vasylchuk (09:14):

Yeah, sure. Is just the new tool, the new generation tool, in our company, in between us, we call banking legacy system. So for us, the new finances, blockchain and everything that comes with the bank is legacy. So, but yes, sometimes we need the bridge become the system. But obviously for me, crypto is the new generation and this market for the 10 years. And, I am a 100% crypto guys, and this is how I can be useful for my country.

Austin (09:39):

So there's a real asymmetry of information here, as far as the media's been reporting that many people who are in Ukraine are not able to necessarily always get information out. And it's a little bit hard to understand. What's always going on over there, especially for someone like me, who's in the United States. What have you sort of been hearing from, from friends and family and colleagues about the situation there now?

Sergey Vasylchuk (10:04):

Well, I'm on the ride every minute. So you and understand, my parents stayed there. My sister stayed there. My friends stayed there. Everyone who stayed there, the males putting the guns and protecting the territory, female trying to be helpful with volunteering with the medicine, with anything. Even kids try to do something, but it's not possible everywhere. After the five days of trying to win our nation by the fire contact, Russia, understand it doesn't work. And now they try to use rockets, ballistic rockets, missiles and to hit our civilian cities. So what is going on Kharkiv is currently is bombing, like Kyiv is bombing. Zhytomyr is bombing. So they try to scare the people. One thing that they don't understand that they just bring more hate and angry, not the scary.

So we are the nation that we unite against the enemy. We have the problem with 214, they took some of the territory and those situations, the country was weak. So probably they tried to use the same approach, but it doesn't work right now. So each strategy is a full scale war, with 1,000 of the deaths, with a civilian, with a 1,000 the death of the military and with the damages of the infrastructure. So it's not a movie. It looks like a movie, but this is real life that currently where Ukrainian are facing.

Austin (11:52):

And, and just in the last few days, the, I would say that the international community has moved very slowly, but they, they are moving especially financially to have there be real consequences for this in terms of freezing foreign assets from the Russian government and imposing stricter restrictions on it. Do you have an idea? Do you have a sense of the magnitude of the need right now that Ukraine has that both from the inner, like there, there's obviously there's donations that people can do. There's also Congress people, they can call there. There's other political actors that they can call. What are the right steps for someone who's trying to get involved beyond just donating?

Sergey Vasylchuk (12:36):

Well, the biggest problem for the Ukraine is our sky. So we have not advanced systems to protect from the missile and rocket. And, if somebody can close our sky, no chance for enemy to win us. So all current attacks are away from the sky. So if anyone could call the congressmen, the government and impacts something that the vest could close our sky, be sure that we will resist. We kick the earth and we go away. We go away from, from our territory, we hitting this, just fighters, just because the excellent pilots, but our is limited. So the more, just the more weapons, the more something that protects our sky will help us. Probably we do not need anything more from the point of view, if you want donate us, like donate, but you should understand that sometimes this money will be useless if they will not go out to like some specific like direction.

So for example, Kharkiv, they need medicine, they need everything, but there is no logistic around because, everything is destroyed. No roads around. So the best way is to contact some volunteers who live in some specific places, which have, have the access to the some logistic and have the context with civilian military to ask directly, what do you need and what you want to have. This is why we also want you to interact after the building this crypto gateway to the central bank, we probably will try to onboard for, for the big exchanges, for the crypto exchanges funds, who will be able to make this direct support. And after this, we'll be able to send the crypto to liquidate the, and the exchanges and to help this way.

I know many of the suppliers, like a, already a certain crypto, because some of the solutions probably FTX a Coinbase base, make it quite seamless transactions. So they send the invoices probably in the US dollars, but, we're receiving this in the form of the crypto. Some magic happens inside the exchange and guys receiving the Fiat and the more these guys who been born with the crypto, it will be more of widespread and something that you would call adoption. Unfortunately this mass adoptions go in such situation as a war with the thought that will goes organically. No, it goes in the extremely situations.

Austin (15:17):

Well, Sergey thank you. Thank you so much for joining us today. We'll have to have you back to talk about Everstake at some point, which is something I've been meaning to do for, for a long time, but this obviously takes priority today. If people are interested in learning more in helping out, you can go nation.io/do/Ukraine. That is connected to the same backend as the SPL governance program. So you can also just donate directly on chain at Ukraine.soul, which will accept any SPL token and any NFT as well.

Sergey Vasylchuk (15:46):

Yeah. Thank you guys for listening to me, please try to donate something to support like our survival. Thank you, Austin. Thank you Solana community. You are amazing. Please contribute something. It'll be your small, but very important and impactful contribution to save Ukraine as a nation. Thank you guys.

Austin (16:04):

Thank You.