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Georgian-Ukrainian Project Selling Russia Territory Virtually In Ethereum Cryptocurrency – OpEd

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A Georgian company in cooperation with Ukraine’s Digital Information Ministry is selling off all Russian territory virtually via the use of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a digital collectible based on blockchain technology, to troll Putin and provide funds for Ukraine.

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To start, the firm is auctioning off 2,443 regions and cities of Russia in Ethereum cryptocurrency. So far, it has sold 23 regions for a total price of 18,704 US dollars. Those who want to make such a purchase can do so by selecting a place on the interactive map the company has posted online at russiaforsale.org/.

Later, the company says, it will put up for virtual sale major pieces of Russian architecture such as the Kremlin and Putin’s various palaces; and after that, it has plans to offer for sale the mummy of Lenin (rferl.org/a/georgia-nft-sales-russia-ukaine-fundraiser/31814302.html), again with all proceeds going to help Ukraine.

According to the company’s website, this represents “an answer to Russian imperialist aggression … Putin is known for grabbing other country’s territory. So, let’s give him a taste of his own medicine.” And all indications are that this project and others like it are in fact helping Ukraine.

Crypto-asset tracker Elliptic says that since Putin launched his expanded invasion of Ukraine on February 24, “tens of millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency donations” have flowed into Ukrainian coffers (elliptic.co/blog/live-updates-millions-in-crypto-crowdfunded-for-the-ukrainian-military).

For many, such crypto-currency sales are an exotic unknown. But as RFE/RL explains in reporting this one, “NFTs are essentially proof of ownership of virtual assets, and their sales have skyrocketed in recent years, including $69 million for a 13-year-long digital collage by American artist and graphic designer Mike Winkelmann, better known as Beeple.”

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The Georgian firm says it has Russian lands available for purchase in all shapes and sizes to fit any interest or pocketbook.

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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