Nexus On PCTV: Cryptocurrency and The Russia-Ukraine War

Discover how cryptocurrency is helping Ukrainian citizens, and the county’s government itself raise and access critical funds in the wake of the Russian invasion.

Nexus IT Consultants’ CEO Earl Foote recently appeared on Mountain Connections PCTV to talk about the surprising role that cryptocurrency is playing in the Russia-Ukraine war:

What Does Cryptocurrency Have To Do With The War?

“The role that crypto has played here has probably been somewhat unexpected,” says Earl. “It’s interesting to see how innovative people and governments have become.”

Without fail, war will disrupt the economies of the countries engaged in it. Government resources are suddenly diverted to support the military, and citizens panic and try to withdraw their savings all at once to flee warzones; the ensuing chaos wreaks havoc on the local economy.

This is precisely what happened when Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year. The former launched cyber attacks on the latter’s financial institutions. Citizens risked a “run on the bank” by attempting to withdraw their funds all at once, which resulted in a lot of economic uncertainty.

Enter cryptocurrency. As a decentralized currency, not tied to a specific bank or based on a valuable physical reserve, it offered flexibility and capabilities that traditional currencies did not.

“We’ve seen Ukrainians that couldn’t get access to funds but were able to access crypto,” says Earl.

How Cryptocurrency Is Helping Ukrainians

Warning: Double Check Who You’re Supporting

“You have to be careful,” says Earl. “There are scammers and bad actors.”

Wherever cybercriminals find an opportunity to take advantage of a notable situation, they will. This is certainly true of the ongoing initiative to support Ukrainians in need.

If you’re hoping to send cryptocurrency to Ukrainian families or purchase an NFT, you need to be especially careful. Without doing your research to confirm the receipt of your support, you could be giving money to a scammer or even a Russian cybercriminal.

“Do your research if you’re hoping to support a person or an entity,” says Earl. “Make sure you’re not helping to fund war or criminals trying to exploit the situation.”

Ensure the artists you’re buying from and the recipients you’re sending funds to. Only work with websites, artists, and other participants that have been vetted and verified.

Never Underestimate Technology’s Role In The Modern World

This is just one example of how modern technology affects the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Thanks to smartphones and social media, never has a war been so well documented and globally accessible.

“It’s been really cool to see this evolution and the role it’s played,” says Earl.

Bonus Tip: Don’t Make Assumptions About Your Mobile Cybersecurity

After concluding the discussion on cryptocurrency and the Russia-Ukraine war, Earl shared a few critical tips about securing your personal mobile device.

The apps you download and the browser you rely on have varying degrees of default security. Without double-checking what you’re working with and taking the proper steps to stay secure, you could be exposing yourself to potential risks.

Put simply, the default settings for mobile apps can leave you vulnerable. Apps have differing levels of privacy and security built into their systems.

Spend some time researching your options to determine which app offers the privacy and security you are looking for. Once you’ve chosen an app, you can maximize your privacy and security by adjusting the default settings.

How To Update Your Apps’ Default Security Settings

  • Disable autofill, remembering passwords, and browsing histories.
  • Do not accept cookies from third parties.
  • Clear all forms of browser history when closing the browser.
  • Block ad tracking.
  • Enable ‘do not track’ requests to be sent to websites.
  • Disable browser data collection.
  • Ensure the browser requests your permission to provide certificates when certificates are requested.
  • Disable cache (or storing) of web pages or other content, or set the cache size to zero.
  • Enable browser capabilities to block malicious, deceptive or dangerous content.

Never Make Assumptions About Your Data Security

You know you shouldn’t trust default security settings.

Just because a program is generally considered to follow standard security practices, that doesn’t mean that it’s as secure as it should be “out of the box.”

The fact is that greater security often means less convenience—albeit in small ways.

Regardless, when it comes to the apps you use, the priority is to enhance the user experience rather than configure the best security settings possible.

That’s why you should make sure to follow the tips listed above. It may slightly affect your convenience, but it’ll ensure your data is much more secure.