In an unusual move, cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, one of the largest exchanges on the cryptocurrency market, announced that it will not block the accounts of any of its Russian customers. Instead, it said it would donate all transaction fees incurred by those customers in the first half of 2022 to Ukraine.
As the exchange announced, the donation is part of a "package of assistance" worth more than $10 million that the company is preparing to support Ukraine's efforts to fight the invasion of Russia.
In addition, the company announced that it will airdrop $1,000 worth of bitcoin to all Ukrainian accounts created before March 9 of this year.
To be eligible, accounts must be at the "Intermediate" or "Professional" verification level. It is not clear how many Ukrainians use the platform. This is because this information is not publicly available.
"The value of the allocated BTC is roughly equivalent to the total fees paid to Kraken by Ukrainian residents since 2013," Kraken revealed.
Kraken will distribute more than $10 million worth of assistance to clients in 🇺🇦 Ukraine. The 1st batch of recipients will receive $1000 in #BTC, which can be withdrawn tomorrow. The package is financed by historical revenues from Ukraine and revenues from Russian trade in the first half of 2022. https://t.co/DdkY2TsVoB– Kraken Exchange (@krakenfx) March 9, 2022
The airdrop takes place on March 10. Users will be able to withdraw the amount immediately through the exchange itself.
Also according to Kraken, users must log in by May 1 to receive their tokens.
In the meantime, any user without intermediate verification can apply to qualify for the second batch, which will be held on April 1.
The amount of the second allocation has not yet been determined, but will be based on the costs incurred by Russian subscribers in the first quarter of 2022.
For example, if a Kraken customer in Russia pays $5 million in fees in the first quarter and has 10,000 eligible accounts in Phase 2, then each account will receive $500 worth of BTC.
"The amount allocated for the third period is also undetermined and will be based on the costs incurred by the Russian customer in the second quarter. The amount will be determined similarly to the second period.