Artyom Fedosov, 27, is a Ukrainian man living in Kazakhstan right now.He is relying on cryptocurrency to pay for housing, food, and transportation because his credit cards don’t work.This is his story, as told to reporter Jenna Gyimesi.The as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Artyom Fedosov, 27, a Ukrainian traveler, photographer, and software engineer currently based in Kazakhstan.It has been edited for length and clarity.
I had planned to stay in Kazakhstan for only a week or so when I arrived in early February.
But then I started to hear about the Russian Army on the Ukrainian border.
I decided to postpone my trip home.Eventually, my flight was canceled — and I’m very lucky it was.
If I was home in Ukraine I wouldn’t be with my friends and family — I would be in the army.And I’m not a person who wants to go and kill people.I would have to fight against the Russians, and I want no part of any of this.
I’m concerned for my loved ones in Ukraine My family lives in Kyiv and my mom tells me she can hear the bombs’ explosions.
This is all crazy to hear about over the phone.
Right now I am in the city of Almaty, Kazakhstan.A few days ago I was riding in a taxi cab, and when I tried to pay, it said my card didn’t go through.I realized my Ukrainian credit cards were not working and I basically had no money.
I made a deal with the driver and then rushed to the nearest ATM to get some cash.But it said the same thing — error.I didn’t have working credit cards, I didn’t have cash; all I had was my crypto.
I’m very familiar with cryptocurrency.
About five years ago, I received my payments in bitcoin from a blockchain company I worked with.Since then, I started using cryptocurrency a lot, and I had some savings already.Fedosov flying over Kyiv.Artyom Fedosov Crypto has been my lifeline during this time In Kazakhstan I was able to find a bitcoin ATM, and I got cash from it.A few days ago, I applied for a Kazakhstan ID and was approved.I got a Halyk Bank card, which is the “People’s Savings Bank of Kazakhstan Joint-Stock Company,” and now I am able to make online crypto exchanges.
I still can’t use my own credit cards, but some Ukrainians can pay with their cards.
I’m not sure why I can’t.
I have friends who are able to access money, but it seems like a complicated situation.I just tried to transfer $1 from one card to another, and the payment didn’t go through.
(Editor’s note: In February, reports suggested Ukrainian banking systems have been slowed down or even frozen; the scale of that disruption is still not clear.Insider was able to witness Fedesov’s inability to access his accounts.)
I tweeted about my financial situation and received a lot of support In addition to messages and retweets, I received more attention for my collection, called ” UN 193 .” I sell NFTs of photographs I take in each country I visit, with hopes of visiting every country on Earth.Some serious collectors have started buying them; I sell each one for about .19 or .29 ETH, or about $550 to $850 each, and I’ve made about seven sales so far.
Six of Fedosov’s photographs.Artyom Fedosov Right now, I rely on crypto for everything.I need it for taxis, food, and for housing.I’m trying to sell more NFTs since I’m so dependent on that income, given my situation.
I’ve also pledged to donate the proceeds of my Ukraine NFT to the Come Back Alive fund, which assists the Ukrainian army.But I really hope that this conflict will end soon, and that they’ll remove the block from my Ukrainian accounts.
As of today I have about 3.19 ETH or about $8,900 USD.
I also have .1 BTC, which is about $4,000 USD and $5,000 worth of NFTs.That should last me months, so I’m not too worried about myself.I still have money in my Ukrainian accounts — well, at least I hope so.Plus I work a full-time job as a software engineer and I expect to get my salary transfered to my Halyk bank card next month.So I’m going to be fine.
But I still worry about my friends and family back home in Ukraine.
Check out: Personal Finance Insider’s picks for best cryptocurrency exchanges
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