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In the Hermitage’s inaugural NFT auction on Binance, Da Vinci’s artwork got the highest bid of 150,500 BUSD.
Despite the Russian government’s generally hostile attitude towards cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), a prominent state-backed museum is benefiting from the market by raising hundreds of thousands of dollars using nonfungible tokens, or NFTs.
The Russian State Hermitage Museum, the world’s largest museum, has completed its first auction on Binance’s NFT platform, selling five tokenized items portraying works by painters such as Leonardo da Vinci and Vincent van Gogh.
The auction included five NFT copies of Hermitage-hosted artworks, including 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.”
According to data from the Binance NFT platform, the Hermitage’s auction has generated a total of more than $444,000 worth of Binance USD (BUSD), a U.S. dollar-denominated stablecoin operated by Binance.
The auction’s highest bid went to “The Madonna and Child,” with the winning bidder placing a 150,500 BUSD bid to buy the digital representation of the famous artwork.
According to a Hermitage spokesman, all NFT auction earnings will go to the museum, “save for the expenses specified in the contract within the context of this initiative.” “The Hermitage does not conduct any bitcoin transactions. “All cash will be transferred to the Hermitage in fiat currency — Russian roubles,” said the representative.
Announcing the NFT sale plans in July, the Hermitage said that its legal department was working with legal consulting company LFCS to create and sell NFTs using a model that “fully complies with Russian legislation.”
Payments in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are not yet legally accepted in Russia. Earlier on Tuesday, Dmitry Peskov, the official representative of Russian President Vladimir Putin, stated that Russia has no reason to recognise Bitcoin as legal cash because it would harm the country’s financial system. As part of its crypto law, “On Digital Financial Assets,” Russia legally restricted residents from making payments in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin in January.