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A Ukrainian refugee makes his way to Poland with 40% of his life savings in Bitcoin

“A Ukrainian refugee took a USB stick across the border with him containing 40 percent of his life savings, or around $2,000 in bitcoin,” according to a recent CNBC report.

“Nearly a quarter of Ukraine’s population has been forced from their homes in the last four weeks,” according to a CNBC report, and “many have turned to cryptocurrency to safeguard their cash, bring their money with them, accept remittances and donations, and transact with each other for daily necessities.”

The report specifically mentions the efforts of Fadey, a 20-year-old Lviv resident who fled the nation after Russia’s invasion. Before martial law made it impossible for Ukrainian men aged 18 to 60 to leave the country, Fadey, a pseudonym to protect his identity, was able to cross the Ukrainian-Polish border.

CNBC quoted Fadey as saying:

“I couldn’t withdraw cash at all, because the queues to ATMs were so long, and I couldn’t wait that much time.“

Fadey was able to trade $600 worth of Bitcoin for Polish zloty through a peer-to-peer (P2P) exchange, which he then used to “pay for a bus across the border, a bed in a hostel for him and his girlfriend, and some food.”

“He crossed the border with a USB stick carrying 40 percent of his life savings, or roughly $2,000 in bitcoin,” according to the Ukrainian refugee.

“I could just write my seed phrase on a piece of paper and take it with me.“

As CNBC points out, Fadey’s scenario underscores key features of Bitcoin, such as its capacity to cross borders. Which, operate without the need for a bank, and be tied to its owner via a difficult-to-crack password.

Brian Mosoff, the CEO of Ether Capital, a crypto investment company based in Toronto, told CNBC:

“In that part of the world, crypto – despite its volatility, despite the sentiments that”
“the West has towards it – they don’t ask, ‘Why crypto?’
They just ask, ‘How?’…

“That’s a very powerful thing for a group of people who don’t have financial stability,”
“or political stability right now. To be able to hold their net worth in some type of asset”
“or product that essentially can be stored in a password.“

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