Russian State has mostly an unfriendly attitude towards cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC). However, there is a major state-backed museum, Hermitage, that is greatly benefiting from the crypto industry just by raising hundreds and thousands of dollars with the help of these NFTs or Non-fungible tokens.
The largest museum in the world, the Russian State Hermitage has completed its first public sale at the NFT platform Binance. It is the world’s largest crypto exchange. On this platform, it sold five tokenized collectibles that depict the masterpieces from great artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Vincent van Gogh. The public auction hosted involved five NFT copies of Hermitage-hosted artworks.
It included Wassily Kandinsky’s “Composition VI”, Giorgione’s “Judith”, Da Vinci’s “The Madonna and Child”, Claude Monet’s “Corner of the Garden at Montgeron” and van Gogh’s “Lilac Bush”. Moreover, data taken from the Binance NFT platform says that this auction has raised a total of over $444,000 in Binance USD (BUSD), a USD stablecoin operated by Binance. The highest bid in the auction was for “The Madonna and Child” with the winner offering $150,500 to purchase a digital image of the famous work of art.
A spokesperson for Hermitage recently told that all proceeds from the NFT auction will go to the museum “except for the costs agreed in the contract for this project” The representative further added, “The Hermitage does not make any operations with cryptocurrency. All funds will go to the Hermitage in Fiat currency — Russian rubles”. When Hermitage announced its plans to sell NFTs in July, its legal department worked with the legal consulting firm LFCS to create and sell NFTs using a “fully compliant model of Russian law”.
Cryptocurrency payments such as Bitcoin are not officially accepted in Russia. Earlier that day, the spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov confirmed that Russia has no reason to recognize bitcoin as legal tender, as it would harm Russia’s financial system.
In January, Russia officially banned people from making payments in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as part of its cryptocurrency law On Digital Financial Assets.