Can Ukraine’s support for crypto help the industry survive – and what would be the role of Web3, AI in the future? – Bitcoin (BTC/USD), Ethereum (ETH/USD)
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is the first wartime leader since Winston Churchill address a joint session of the US Congress.
In his signature army green shirt, Zelenskyy’s visit to the United States was inspiring and timely. It was his first trip abroad since the country began its war with Russia and it came as Congress was set to decide on an additional $45 billion in aid that the Biden Administration recommend as part of a $1.7 trillion financing bill necessary to keep the US government going.
Zelensky said in his address to Congress: “Against all odds and catastrophic scenarios, Ukraine has not fallen. Ukraine is alive and well. And that gives me good reason to share with you our first, first joint victory: we defeated Russia in the battle for the minds of the world.”
The crypto world could benefit from this kind of ferocity in the face of peril. Crypto has also been part of the history of support for Ukraine.
Winter Crises Lead to Innovation
In his address to Congress, Zelenskyy addressed the people of the United States, the world and Ukraine as they enter a winter that Russian attacks on Ukraine’s power grid and infrastructure will escalate.
But for a crypto industry enduring its own metaphorical winter, his words may apply as well – the industry faces significant hurdles, though it has captured many hearts and minds. Crypto is also on an existential quest for legitimacy.
Ukraine and crypto are forever linked in history, especially at the start of Putin’s “Special Military Operations” as they became an important use case to bolster the value of crypto in times of crisis.
Cryptocurrency donations were important for the ability to cross international borders despite closed transfers between national banks in the region. Donating in crypto has helped the money arrive faster and more reliably, and the Ukrainian government has recognized the need to embrace crypto.
In March, the Ukrainian Ministry of Digital Transformation issued a statement accelerated legalization of crypto in the country. Zalenskyy signed the Virtual Assets Bill which freed up $100 million in donations that poured in after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Ukraine has requested individuals donations in crypto to Twitter and on its website. Ukrainian government website currently accepting donations by bank transfer, credit card, PayPal and crypto.
According to Crystalline Analyticsmore … than $184 million in crypto donations had been received by Ukraine as of November 30, 2022. Of the donated cryptocurrency, 61% was used to support military efforts and 39% for humanitarian aid.
The majority of donations were made in Ethereum ETH/USDwhich totaled approximately $56 million, $44.5 million was made in Attached USDT/USD and $38.4 million in Bitcoin BTC/USD.
Crypto is only a small part of overall donations. A March statement from the National Bank of Ukraine showed that more than 6 billion dollars of Ukrainian hryvnia (UAH) were transferred to a special military account and more than UAH$253.5 million was received in foreign fiat currency.
Recently, United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), announced that it was working with the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) to launch a first blockchain-based payment distribution system to provide funds for internally displaced persons in Ukraine. Thus, crypto has secured a valuable role on the global stage.
AI and Web3 boost medical care in Ukraine
Vidbya Swiss-based software as a service (SaaS), which provides automated translation and video dubbing services in 70 languages, was working with Harvard University to provide translated videos in Ukrainian that help train doctors and the military personnel providing medical care in the Ukrainian war zone.
In an already largely interconnected world, human language barriers can be one of the main obstacles to instant communication. Vidby started with the hard part, delivering highly specialized translations that had zero tolerance for errors in providing potentially life-saving information.
Benzinga interviewed Eugene of RubinbergCEO and Co-Founder of Vidby, to learn more about the formation of the partnership and how AI translation will empower Web3 and a more interconnected world with fewer communication barriers.
BZ: How did your partnership with Harvard University begin?
Emergency room : When we arrived at Harvard University, they told us they didn’t need our services. They weren’t happy with any type of provider because their videos were “frankly not translated properly” as they were.
As soon as they learned that Vidby specializes in innovative artificial intelligence technologies, they immediately said, “No, we’ve already done all the research, we’ve already done our due diligence and we’re definitely not interested in other machine translation software.
BZ: How did you convince them to try your services?
Emergency room : We said, let’s just make the translation as complicated as you want it to be. It was a rather complicated translation.
In revision, they found only 1.5 small errors in the translation. The word semiconductors has been mistranslated into wires. It was the only mistake.
BZ: What is the difference between Vidby and other text transcription AI solutions?
Emergency room : No other software on the market can differentiate between these complicated topic-related words, be it healthcare or other industries, and we have a software mechanism where different dialects, accents, industries and specializations can be identified and translated correctly and into the local dialect. It is universal and with automatic translation that can identify how to communicate certain words effectively.
BZ: Is the language barrier one of the great obstacles to global communication?
Emergency room : Absolutely. This is the most important sector at present. The main problem in the world is communication. And artificial intelligence will change the world. Everyone will soon be able to see and hear every video very cheaply, quickly and with a very high quality that has not yet been seen in the market.
Currently we have video translation as a feature. Early next year, we will offer synchronization so that both parties can speak in their local language when having a phone conversation. This way you can talk to someone in China, Japan or anywhere in the world, and they will be able to hear it in their local language. The goal is to make it accessible to everyone for daily use.
BZ: Was health always part of the original vision? Or has the attack on Ukraine created a pressing need?
Emergency room : Out of crisis, the best ideas begin. Our co-founder [Alexander Konovalov] speaks only Russian and Ukrainian. Out of the need to communicate with the outside world when you don’t know the exact words, that’s how it evolved.
BZ: Is Web3 a growth area for AI translation?
Emergency room : In Web3 they are currently working on ideas. They have ideas right now. But it is too early to give concrete information. This is something we can share next year.
BZ: In March, Vidby made a token sale. Has Web3 played an important role in your fundraising?
Emergency room : We’ve seen a lot of benefits by moving to Web3. When you live in Switzerland, you are in the middle of Crypto Valley and surrounded by amazing crypto thought leaders.
Vidby pursued the principle that one token equals one action, and we use the Ethereum ETH/USD blockchain. We’ve seen it has a lot of benefits in terms of communicating with your investors in a much better and more efficient way, especially through the app, where we have general meetings. We see that by entering this area there are many benefits, and we are working on ideas to grow further and solidify a Web3 path forward.
Learn more about Videy and Ukraine
In collaboration with Harvard University, Vidby translated 21 training videos from English to Ukrainian, taking care with the pronunciation and stress of each word to provide an accurate result that could help convey critical medical information and saving lives. The videos were posted on Global Medical Knowledge Alliance Youtube channel.
One of the few silver linings in this constantly bearish market, in the crypto world and beyond, is that Web3 projects focus on providing genuine utility. Crisis leads to innovation, as von Rubinberg said.
If during the holiday season you would like to donate to Ukrainian Red Cross you can do it safely on his site. And a reminder, if you would like to donate in crypto, the Ukrainian government website gratefully accepts this form of payment.
Photo: Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay.
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