The most famous and promising crypto/blockchain/web3 projects with Ukrainian origin

According to various estimates, Ukraine ranks second or third in the world regarding the number of crypto accounts and adoption. Triple A mentions that roughly 6.5 million Ukrainians own cryptocurrency, 15.72% of the total population.

People buy cryptocurrency in Ukraine because, in the absence of a stock market, it’s one of the few ways to invest. In addition to investing, cryptocurrency is a way to test modern technologies and an alternative to fiat currencies.

However, let’s look at the industry more broadly and not just focus on crypto. The creation of digital currencies became possible thanks to blockchain technology, and the most popular blockchains are Ethereum, Stellar, Solana, Binance Chain, Cosmos, and other. On their basis, especially on Ethereum, many decentralized, web3 and metaverse projects are created.

Some of such projects are created precisely by Ukrainians because Ukraine has many talented engineers and mathematicians who create world-class digital products.

In this article, I want to describe several of them, the most interesting in my opinion, but you can complement me if you want to share projects that you like.

This is not a rating. Projects are placed in random order.

So, follow me — I’m ready to introduce you to the most famous and promising crypto/blockchain/web3 projects of Ukrainian origin or those whose team consists of many Ukrainians.

NEAR

NEAR Protocol is a layer-one blockchain that was designed as a community-run cloud computing platform and that eliminates some of the limitations that have been bogging competing blockchains, such as low transaction speeds, low throughput and poor interoperability. This provides the ideal environment for DApps and creates a developer and user-friendly platform. For instance, NEAR uses human-readable account names, unlike the cryptographic wallet addresses common to Ethereum. NEAR also introduces unique solutions to scaling problems and has its own consensus mechanismcalled “Doomslug.”

The picture from https://near.org/ecosystem

NEAR Protocol was founded by Erik Trautman, an entrepreneur with experience on Wall Street and founder of Viking Education. His co-founders were Illia Polosukhin and Alexander Skidanov. In 2017 llia Polosukhin and Alexander Skidanov started NEAR.ai to explore program synthesis, proclaiming, “Singularity is NEAR!”. NEAR mainnet launched in April 2020 and became completely community-operated in September 2020. A vote to enable token transfers passed in October 2020.

After two funding rounds NEAR Protocol has already raised $533.7 million in investment.

On Oct. 25, 2021, NEAR announced a $800 million in ecosystem funding initiatives, following in the footsteps of various Layer-1s blockchains like Avalanche, Fantom and Celo. The fund will be used to bankroll initiatives that will focus on accelerating growth in the NEAR protocol ecosystem.

The mission of the NEAR Foundation is to foster the conditions by which an ecosystem can flourish, assisting and aiding others to reimagine business, creativity, and community in their own ways. The Foundation exists to help inspire and empower people to join the ecosystem, by acting as a trusted party and gateway into this new world. It is one part of a larger puzzle.

Hacken

Hacken is a ecosystem of cybersecurity products with a vision of transforming Web3 into a more ethical place. The company believes cybersecurity is not only about hacks prevention but the whole way of running a business — without scamming investors, rug pulls, wash trading, circulation supply manipulations, etc.

Hacken Team, screenshot from https://hacken.io

They are about doing business ethically by respecting the community, being honest with investors and partners, acting responsibly, and valuing reputation.

Hacken has raised a total of $2.5M in funding over 2 rounds.

They protect Web3 projects and their communities with the suite of cybersecurity services such as Smart Contract Audit, L1 Blockchain Protocol Audit, dApp Audit, Pentest, Bug Bounty Program running on HackenProof, #1 bug bounty platform.

Hacken has its Foundation that gives boost to innovative cybersecurity solutions by empowering the Hacken Ecosystem through HAI Tokenomics.

I like their brand style. These 3D figures and colors look attractive.

zkSync

Picture from https://docs.zksync.io

zkSync — Ethereum layer 2 scaling protocol, solves Ethereum scalability with zero security compromises. zkSync was created by MatterLabs, the organization created by Alexandr Vlasov and Alex Gluchowski. Alex Gluchowski is a co-founder and CEO. Also, together with llia Polosukhin from NEAR, he is the one of stakeholders in Unchain Foundation which helps Ukrainians with crypto donations during the war.

In November 2021, zkSync raised $50,000,000 / Series B from 1kx and 14 other investors. Investors list includes Andreessen Horowitz, Blockchain.com, Crypto.com, Consensys, ByBit, OKEx, Alchemy, and Covalent. In January 2022, Matter Labs has announced a $200 million decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) backed by BitDAO, a DAO-directed treasury with a balance of more than $2.6 billion.

October 28, zkSync 2.0 will be launching on Mainnet. Launching the first EVM-compatible zkRollup will be a huge accomplishment. Full Alpha will be launched to the end of the year 2022: once all security checks have passed, we’ll raise the gate and allow open access to the bridge for external users.

CEX.IO

CEX.IO is an ecosystem of products and services connecting individuals and businesses to the opportunities of decentralised finance.

Established in 2013 as the pioneering cloud mining provider and working in conjunction with GHash.IO mining pool, CEX.IO has developed as a worldwide multi-functional cryptocurrency exchange with a profound user base of over half million people.

Currently, they provide a rich variety of trading tools for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ripple, Stellar, Litecoin, Tron, and other crypto assets. You can trade these cryptocurrencies for USD, EUR, and GBP.

CEO — Oleksandr Lutskevych. CEX.IO is a team of over 370 professionals serving customers worldwide out of the following jurisdictions: USA, Gibraltar and Cyprus.

The mission of CEX.IO is to provide a gateway into the world of an open financial system.

WhiteBIT

WhiteBIT is the largest European crypto-to-fiat exchange from Ukraine. The platform was established in 2018 and has already become one of the leading crypto exchanges with 3+ mln users worldwide. Built on cutting-edge technology, the company provides an institutional-grade experience for professional and novice customers.

The team believes in education and collaboration with players in the fintech/crypto ecosystem.

In 2022, WhiteBIT became the winner of the auction and bought the microphone of the Eurovision winners — the Kalush Orchestra — for $900,000. Volunteers spent money on the purchase of drones for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Photo from Incrypted website

This became a precedent because never before had Eurovision winners sold their awards, and crypto exchanges had never bought them, especially for such a price. And all for the victory of Ukraine!

In 2022, another important news appeared from the exchange — Netflix subscribers in Europe will be able to pay for their favorite movies and shows using cryptocurrency via WhiteBIT.

Picture from https://bm.ge

The new partners have planned bilateral educational and marketing activities. Future joint events will promote awareness among Netflix fans about blockchain and the use of digital assets in their daily lives. The agreement between WhiteBIT and Netflix will run for at least two and a half years, until May 2025.

I’m sure you know some of these products, but you didn’t think they were created by Ukrainians and/or have a large number of Ukrainians on their teams. I have not found such successful projects in the direction of the metaverse, but I think there will be many of them soon.

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Daria Volkova

Brand Strategist, Product Marketer, Startup Mentor. All about branding, marketing, leadership and business culture — without clichés and pathos.