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Saint Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum Intends to Generate Funds from NFTs

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Jul 4, 2021

NFTs comprising artwork belonging to the Saint Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum may come up for sale as the discussion over the issue is going on in between the Museum and the world’s leading crypto trade company, Binance. The intention of the museum is to generate more funds, however, the only hurdle seems to be the crypto regulation prevailing in the country. The Museum is not sure whether NFTs are subject to crypto regulation or not or that they are exempt from any particular restriction.

Hermitage Museum, which is located in Saint Petersburg, Russia is a globally renowned and acclaimed museum of the world. Reportedly, the museum is currently in talks and discussion with one of the world’s leading crypto trade firms, Binance. It has been informed by the Museum that it wishes to sell some artworks which belong to the Museum itself. However, the sale of the artwork is intended to be through the utilization of NFTs i.e. Non-Fungible Tokens.

Although, Binance is a crypto trading platform it did not provide NFT sale services until 24th June 2021. Having examined the potential in the NFT market, Binance had launched its very own NFT marketplace. Since Binance is a global crypto trading platform, it also decided to render NFT sales services for worldwide customers as well.

Though the intention of the Museum is evidently clear, there are certain clarifications that need to be fulfilled. For instance, there are some permissions to be obtained from the Russian Government before selling state museum’s property or assets. Because NFT sales would include developing a tokenized form of crypto, therefore, there is confusion. It is not clear to the Museum whether NFTs would fall in the category of crypto or not under the Russian regulations for digital assets.

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Marina Tsyguleva, legal head of the Museum, said that the matter requires clarification regarding the crypto proposal issued by the Bank of Russia. She also told and confirmed to the press that indeed the Museum is exploring the possibility of disposing of some art pieces through NFTs. For the purposes of the sale, discussions and online meetings have been held between the teams of Binance and Museum.

She also told that there are some assets belonging to the Museum which can be sold off. She also said that selling such assets won’t do any harm to the state. In fact, their sale would ensure the generation of extra funds. The collected funds can then be utilized towards acquiring more pieces of artwork which is an extra rate. However, the Museum is seeking assistance and wants an exemption if NFT is part of the regulation.

The presently implementable regulations regarding crypto in Russia are the ones made applicable on 1st January 2021.

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