Every company has a story. Learn the playbooks that built the world’s greatest companies — and how you can apply them as a founder, operator, or investor.
Mon, 28 Feb 2022 22:12
Like so many, we’ve been both heartbroken and inspired by what’s happening Ukraine. Our friends at Solana and FTX are announcing today that they’ve helped Everstake — a Ukrainian company and the largest Solana validator in the world — set up a DAO called Aid for Ukraine that can 1) accept crypto donations, and 2) directly offramp them into the Ukrainian central bank (in fiat currency) via FTX’s rails. This is — as far as we know — the first project of its kind anywhere in the world, and an incredibly ambitious response to a terrible human crisis.
We recorded a brief conversation with Solana Labs CEO Anatoly Yakavenko and Everstake CEO Sergey Vasylchuk, who has spearheaded this project and who as you’ll hear is currently on the ground in Ukraine amidst fighting and bombing. You can follow and donate to Aid for Ukraine, and/or other non-cypto projects via the links below:
Hey everyone, like probably so many of you this past week, Ben and I have been both heartbroken and inspired by what's happening in Ukraine. We were thinking about what the acquired community could do to help. We posted in Slack and people immediately responded with a great set of resources. And last night, our friends at Salana and FTX let us know that they were working with EverStake on something that's launching today that they're supporting. So we're here with Anatoly Yakovenko, who folks will remember is the CEO of Salana Labs. And with Sergey Vazelchuk, who is the CEO of EverStake and lives in Ukraine and has set up this project aid for Ukraine, which is a Treasury Dow for collecting and distributing funds to aid Ukraine and Ukrainian government, is actually directly involved in this project. So first, welcome both of you, Sergey, we hope you're safe. Can you tell us a little bit about what's happening right now around you? Yeah, hi guys, I'm fortunately safe with my wife and daughters. My parents and sister in South Vakia, they are stuck in the key to the tumor, which is currently bombing. So right now, the Rojas and bombs are hitting our home. It's quite hard to be calling, but we still try to have some support for our government, our military, just to protect our home and life of our natives. So terrible things are happening, we just have the real wars with real tanks, with jet fighters, with bombs, with something that you can see in the movies, but like this is Zaid Naitmar is currently in our home. I can't imagine. I'm so glad you're safe, and that's just terrible. What's happening? Can you tell us a little bit about what the what aid for Ukraine is and about the project? The biggest problem right now that currently in the for the financial system that currently there was a military law in the Ukraine, so there are a bunch of the restriction. And one of them that Ben Skennon sent it out, born transor in the 50s, so it's quite isolated financial system, but at the same time Ukraine currently needs support and to buy the like the medicine, the weapon, whatever to protect like our country and to help people who are like engaged all this like Naitmar. So this is why like I try to do all my best and like call to all my friends, all my group, like people, I was taking this validator and probably more than 50 blockchains. So like every of those blockchains, the foundation teams are quantity are like, hey, what we can help with you. And like I try to use this opportunity to gather the crypto to the nation to our country and try to overcome all these like restriction bureaucracy and currently crypto is a good way to do it. We do quite a number of things and we try to unbore central bank here. So if they probably will open the account for the central bank or the whatever legal top they have. It is like amazing how fast they read so usually like this drugstasy stuff is going for the like months is weeks right now, we just gathered in the signal, falls from the government from the central bank, from the crypto community and we're coordinated just hours on minutes. So like this is making this in the hour so amazing. Thank you all guy for supporting us. That's amazing. So FTX is handling off ramp of funds directly to the Ukrainian government. Yeah, there is probably no other way to do it because if we want to send like quite significant amount like no one banks will be able to accept like the nation, we should connect with the military operations against these no doubt. So the only entity who can like accept and handle is of course Ukraine and like bank Ukraine and like probably the only shame that's agreed to help with such station currently is FTX. But the same time like ever take is one of the biggest data in in our own in Salana. So this why sure I was asking help in Salana. Thank you Natalia for supporting us like is also coordination and help was was amazing minutes hours since it's like days and months. So we already build this down the rough signatures from the Ministry of the digital transformation. The residences of the like best and known companies involved in the crypto in the Ukraine. And this may not only just for the transparency for security so like honestly some of us could be like killed in the station so we need to have like more scientists to retain to make it running. But they make an amazing view this is the city which allow us to like accept crypto for the various people. The like officer of the ministry is like tweeting in his Twitter about the others and so on. So you will see very soon this address is from the official resources due to help us. Wow. And it's only can you tell everyone quickly how how Salana is involved and what you're doing. You know like we're we're just you know we just we are just keep the network running that's basically it. Sergey literally is doing all the work. And from our perspective you know we built the Dow tools and the ways to manage funds and all these other things for lots of other use cases. So these are general purpose software and programs and how it's integrated in the network is just the same way that the monkey dows using to create a validator and state. Like this these are the same the same tools. It's kind of a frightening and sad time and I'm glad that there's at least some small part that we have a you know chance to play and help the people in Ukraine in some way. And super lucky to have Sergey who's been like running ever stay one of the top validators to think it is the top validator in the network but also you know his company has had you know folks in Ukraine and Kiev that have been building applications running on Salana for a very long time they're heavily involved in metaplex and a bunch of other like premier applications on Salana. The what was really shocking to me is like the folks that you know we work with on just boring engineering stuff are telling me that you know the house is being blown up. It's just unreal and that change happens you know 48 hours you know you went from like talking about like what's going to be in the sprint plan for something to do houses being blown up. Yeah we still we still support an operation because like probably like our job and our activities in the only way to like sustain and to continue. It's okay well we'll come back in a totally you I believe your your families from Ukraine right. Yeah I have some relatives that are all safe for what I know. So most of my immediate families in the states I've been in the states it's 92 I think of myself as an American you know. But definitely I don't know when this started to happen I kind of felt like. Existential like felt like my life was in danger. Like I don't know if that's because my family comes from that region and you just always hear stories. Some some directly involving my family and stuff the way that I don't know the security services the KGB etc all that stuff is true. Like you hear those stories you'd go read like Solzee Needs and whatever is happening then still happening now and like when that stuff kind of gets out and start spreading around the world I just like. Immediately felt like existential kind of threat to my family in my California just insane. Serge did you do you have a few more words you wanted to say. Yeah I just want to say that we continue our work because it's the only way to us to sustain and to like have the resources to build our country and like we continue doing. And like I'm very happy that the time in this basement technology in the crypto this is the way how we use it how we help the people. And we can really improve the power of the Australia community like not only to trade not only to speculate just to help to make the real impact for the real people in some specific regions where there's like legacy finance system doesn't work. So we'll do it and we'll help the people. Thank you Dr. Svotsk. Thank you sir. I would like to say it real quick before we wrap obviously not everybody in the acquired community is crypto native or can or wants to support via digital assets. What are some other organizations people can give to in a more traditional manner. I know a folks a packie wrote a few folks packie wrote a great piece today that had a lot of list of resources that will link to their few other notions. And we can link to Sergi or Anatolia. There are any organizations in your mind, especially Sergi, you being there that say somebody in America could donate via the traditional finance system that would be effective. Yes, sure. Our central bank open special account is international. Also the heavy I ban there like officially publishing on their website, which can like anyone from any of the world to need the like you see here or whatever currency they have. And this money go directly to the bank account of the central bank so not even commercial banks and they can be used so it will be the fastest way and like probably you just taste. You know, say dollars who will be transferred to the intermediately. And the corresponding account of in the United States of the central bank so it will be faster enough to do from the US. There are also like some bulletin phones, one of them call covenage, really in the legislation is come back alive. So they also have the I bands and I will post the links to this realization after this recording. Wonderful. Thank you. We'll put all those links in the show notes. You know, both for the work you're doing. We, Sergey, we hope you your family are safe and you know, we're all we're all praying for you. Thank you. And listeners will put links to all of these all these organizations and the show notes and especially aid for Ukraine. And thank you and you're in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you, guys. Thank you.