have taken on an unprecedented role in the war in Ukraine, helping the
government raise millions of dollars to fund its fight against the Russian
Why has Ukraine turned to cryptocurrencies, and how is the
nascent crypto industry changing its reputation and having an impact amid the
clouds of war?
- How much crypto has been raised? -
At the outset of the conflict, Ukrainian officials posted
addresses for two crypto wallets on their Twitter account, giving donors a
direct and clear address to which to send contributions.
The wallets attracted more than $10.2 million (9.2 million
euros) just four days after the start of the invasion.
Since then, more than $100 million worth of crypto has been
raised, with the "Crypto Fund for Ukraine" run by Michael Chobanian
-- the founder of the Ukrainian crypto exchange Kuna -- accounting for 60
percent of all donations.
"We are still collecting crypto. It is being spent on
aid like daily rations and bullet-proof vests and helmets," the
37-year-old Ukrainian told AFP.
Initially, two funds were set up, one for humanitarian
purposes and the other to support the Ukrainian military.
However, after the violence escalated across Ukraine, the
funds were merged and focused fully on supporting the military, said Chobanian.
He said that the majority of crypto donations came in the
form of Bitcoin, Ethereum and the stablecoin Tether -- a coin pegged one-to-one
to the dollar.
- What are the benefits of donating in crypto? -
Aid packages sent to Ukraine in fiat money from the
United States and the
European Union dwarf cryptocurrency donations, but the latter allow
individuals to get involved.
US crypto charity, "The Giving Block", told AFP
that cryptocurrency donations have the potential to attract "younger
donors" who are looking to support various causes.
Another reason crypto donations are of value to Ukraine is
because they are less influenced by geopolitical or macroeconomic factors.
Chobanian points to the depreciation in the value of the Ukrainian hryvnia as a
result of inflation.
An extra advantage of donating in cryptocurrencies is the
speed of the transfers. Bank wires may take up to 24 hours to be validated
between two countries. However, cryptocurrency transfers typically take less
- What are the drawbacks? -
Despite the success of crypto in aiding the Ukrainian war
effort, it has not always been a smooth ride.
In the early days of the conflict, the deputy minister for
digital transformation wanted to issue Ukraine's own crypto as a symbolic
gesture for Kyiv's cause, but the project was eventually cancelled.
To make matters worse, people seized the opportunity to mint
and market fake versions of the planned government-issued crypto.
"There was a lack of communication" within the
government, said Chobanian, who now works closely with the ministry.
"It was the first day of the war," he recalls.
Moreover, cryptocurrencies have become a staple part of
Ukraine's shadow economy -- used as a medium of exchange in online crime, tax
According to data analytics firm Chainalysis, transactions
from Eastern Europe to other regions are particularly high, and the company
suggests that "capital flight could account" for some of the crypto
movement in the area.
- What are the consequences? -
Despite the risks associated with crypto, Chobanian is
confident that it will become a core part of the Ukrainian economy.
"When we win the war, we will rebuild Ukraine using
blockchain technology. All of us were helped by crypto," he said.
While Chobanian's aspirations may be very ambitious, they
are based on real developments.
On Wednesday, President Volodymyr Zelensky passed a law that
would provide a legislative framework for crypto platforms and users to operate
within the country.
Caroline Malcolm, head of international public policy and
research at Chainalysis, told AFP that the conflict in Ukraine "is forcing
governments to develop their understanding of cryptocurrencies and their
She believes that such discussions can be beneficial to the
crypto industry, leading to "proportionate and effective regulatory
As of last week, US President Joe Biden signed an executive
order seeking further clarification and guidance on crypto regulation --
showing Washington's willingness to contend with an ever-growing and new asset
As the Ekushey Boi Mela (Book Fair) 2024 crossed its seventh day yesterday, publishers and book sellers are hopeful for increased sales and public engagement, despite not yet reaching their anticipated sales targets.
The Dhaka Metro Rail has infused the fair with a new vibrancy, making it more accessible for visitors from distant areas like Uttara, Mirpur, and Motijheel. Ovi Islam, from Farmgate, shared his positive experience of using the metro rail to bypass traffic jams, despite the initial long wait for tickets.
Although some visitors, like Ovi who visited the fair three times without purchasing books, contribute to the growing foot traffic, the overall sales have yet to see a significant boost.
Another group of visitors from Uttara noted the ease of accessing the fair this year, thanks to the metro rail, which has offered a way to avoid the infamous Dhaka traffic congestion.
Book sellers expressed mixed feelings about the fair's progress. While visitor numbers are on the rise, actual book purchases remain lower than expected. Nur Hossen Sarkar from Anupam Prokashoni observed that many attendees are more interested in browsing than buying. Similarly, Mohammad Jabed from Mowla Brothers noted a slight decrease in sales compared to the initial days but remains hopeful for an uptick in activity.
Some exhibitors have faced challenges with their stall placements, leading to visibility and accessibility issues. Sumon Saj from Nongor Publication voiced concerns about being allocated a less favorable location and has reported the issue to Bangla Academy without seeing significant action.
Some publishers also expressed dissatisfaction about the overall arrangement and environment. These issues suggest that while the metro rail has made the fair more accessible, improvements are still needed in its organization and visitor experience.
With the fair still underway, publishers and sellers are optimistic about a surge in sales and visitor numbers, especially with the upcoming weekend.
Private sector’s Shahjalal Islami Bank is in trouble with realisation of the loan from Dhaly Construction and grant of new loan of Tk 408 crore to the company. The loan was disbursed without adequate collateral and verifying the financial status of the customer.
According to the report of Bangladesh Bank, the then
managing director and board of directors, along with the officers of the
relevant departments of the bank's branch and head office, cannot avoid the
responsibility of this irregularity, said a report of the Bangladesh Bank.
It is known that Dhaly Construction took a loan of Tk 129
crore in 2013 from Trust Bank's Dilkusha branch in the capital. At the end of
2015, the loan amount increased to Tk 156 crores.
In November 2015, Dhaly Construction applied to Shahjalal
Islami Bank to acquire the Trust Bank loan. Dhanmondi branch of Shahjalal
Islami Bank acquired Dhaly Construction Limited's loan of Tk 118 crore from
Trust Bank in December of that year.
In December, Shahjalal Islami Bank disbursed an additional
Tk 188 crore funded and Tk 70 crore unfunded loan to Dhaly Construction Limited.
In August 2017, Shahjalal Islami Bank gave another loan of Tk 115 crore. Of
this, 85 crores are funded and 30 crores are non-funded. But Shahjalal Islami
Bank could not tell Bangladesh Bank how much money has been loaned and against
According to the report, Shahjalal Islami Bank gave the loan
forcefully to Dhaly Construction due to the failure of various companies to pay
their debts. As a result, at the end of April this year, the amount of loan
disbursed by Shahjalal Islami Bank to Dhaly Construction stood at Tk 408 crore.
Out of this, 350 crore are funded and 58 crore non-funded.
Shahjalal Islami Bank was unable to collect the money
despite repeated efforts. Dhaly Construction has mortgaged 721 acres of land
and a building measuring 37,000 square feet as security against the loan.
In this regard, a deputy managing director of Shahjalal
Islami Bank, on condition of anonymity, told the media that “Dhaly Construction
is in a good position among the country's construction companies. We have
business relationship with them since 2015. The company is facing big
challenges due to the epidemic. Although we are hopeful of recovering the loan,
it will take more time to get the money back.”
Regarding cashing the bill of Dhaly Construction through
another bank instead of Shahjalal Bank, the Deputy Managing Director said that
Dhaly Construction did this due to the need for cash. They thought that if they
deposit the bill in the bank, the money will be deducted to pay off the loan.
However, when asked about the violation of the bank's board
of directors policy in disbursing loans, he refused to make any comment.
Dhaly Construction chairman Rafique Uddin told the media
that “Our company has implemented large road and construction projects
including several university buildings in the country. We have been facing
challenge since Covid pandemic as some our projects had to be stopped.
Moreover, the abnormally high prices of construction materials also increased
the project cost."
When asked about repayment of loan from Shahjalal Islami
Bank, he said that new projects will be taken up and the loan will be repaid.
The business relationship with the bank will also continue.
Dhaly Construction Advisor MM Mizanur Rahman told the media
that there were some errors in the documents. It will be resolved quickly. He
said, the bank can collect the debt by selling the company's assets. Apart from
this, the company is involved in several construction projects. If the work of
these projects is completed, the loan can be paid.
According to the central bank report, it was directed by the
Board to take security equal to the investment while disbursing the loan. But,
only Tk 90 crore of collateral (land and building) was taken against the funded
loan of Tk 188 crore. The board was not informed of the investment with less
According to the report, Shahjalal Bank could not provide
any information to the central bank's inspection team about the amount of money
invested against specific work orders and the number of bills received in
respect of those work orders.
The report said that the board of the directors of the bank
advised taking a legal opinion before approving funded loans of Tk 188 crore
and non-funded loans of Tk 70 crore and mortgaging 721 khata land. But the bank
did not take into consideration the legal opinion while giving the loan. As no
collateral is taken for new loans, the bank's investment becomes risky.
Country's both the bourses, Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) and
Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) today plunged further due to mainly price fall
in large-cap securities.
DSEX, the benchmark index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE),
slid 65 points, or 1.01 per cent, at 6,413 at the end of the day. The DS30, the
index that consists of blue-chip companies, went down 0.93 per cent to 2,277,
while the DSES, the Shariah-complaint index, plummeted 0.80 per cent to 1,406.
Turnover at the DSE dropped 3 per cent to Taka 1,297 crore
which was Taka 1,343 crore on the previous day.
At the DSE, 26 stocks advanced, 153 declined and 182 did not
show any price movement.
Bangladesh Monospool Paper Manufacturing topped the gainers'
with an 8.64 per cent rise. Fine Foods, Rahima Food Corporation, Eastern
Cables, and Eastern Lubricants also advanced over 5 per cent.
Apex Foods suffered the highest correction, sliding almost
13 per cent. Far East Knitting, BDCOM Online, Navana CNG, and Apex Spinning
declined more than 9 per cent.
The CASPI, the all-share price index of the Chattogram Stock
Exchange, decreased 164 points, or 0.86 per cent to end at 18,895.
Of the issues on the port city bourse, 34 advanced, 104
declined, and 80 remained unchanged.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council
(ECNEC) today approved six projects with Tk 7,018 crore.
The meeting was held under the chairmanship of ECNEC
Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday (October 11).
The premier joined the meeting virtually from her official Ganabhaban residence here while ministers, state ministers, planning commission members and secretaries concerned were connected to it from the NEC Conference Room in the city's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.
After the meeting, Planning Minister MA Mannan gave details
in the press conference.
thousand 362 crore 63 lakh will come from the government
funding, Tk 2 thousand 386 crore 48 lakh from foreign funding and Tk 269 crore
62 lakh from the organization's own funding.
inflow sinks to lowest in seven months. The inflow of remittance dropped around
25% in September to $1.54 billion compared to August earnings.
Bangladesh received $2.04 billion in remittances in August,
according to central bank data published Sunday (2 October).
The total remittance inflow in the current financial year is
$5.67 billion, which was $5.41 billion during the same period last year.
According to experts, the cost of living for expatriates
increased due to global inflation. Additionally, they are preferring hundi over
legal remittance channels as they are getting Tk5-6 per dollar more than the
bank exchange rate.
They had expressed concern that the Hundi channel may become
Remittances dropped to a seven-month low in September as the
central bank fixed the dollar exchange rate for inward remittance. Bangladesh
received a lower remittance of $1.49 billion last February.
Bankers said the downfall happened after, on the advice of
the central bank on 12 September, the banks fixed the dollar exchange rate for
remittances at Tk108.
However, bankers had initially feared that remittances may
decrease due to fixing the exchange rate. The exchange houses said that the
remittances came in less in the first week after the rate was fixed as
remitters could not be given higher rates.
A visit to the website of several exchange houses including
Moneygram and Western Union shows that they are paying Tk106-107 per dollar for
remittance inflow. However, the houses also charge $1-2 as transfer fee.
As a result, those who send remittances in small amounts do
not get an average rate of more than Tk104-105 a dollar.
At present remittance through Hundi yields Tk113-114 per
dollar. Due to fixed exchange rate at banks, the difference between dollar
price of Hundi and the banking channel is at least Tk6-7.
As the Ekushey Boi Mela (Book Fair) 2024 crossed its seventh day yesterday, publishers and book sellers are hopeful for increased sales and public engagement, despite not yet reaching their anticipated sales targets. The Dhaka Metro Rail has infused the fair with a new vibrancy, making it more accessible for visitors from distant areas like Uttara, Mirpur, and Motijheel. Ovi Islam, from Farmgate, shared his positive experience of using the metro rail to bypass traffic jams, despite the initial long wait for tickets.
Country's both the bourses, Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) and Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) today plunged further due to mainly price fall in large-cap securities. DSEX, the benchmark index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), slid 65 points, or 1.01 per cent, at 6,413 at the end of the day. The DS30, the index that consists of blue-chip companies, went down 0.93 per cent to 2,277, while the DSES, the Shariah-complaint index, plummeted 0.80 per cent to 1,406.