Prague’s NFT Initiative for Historical Monuments Ends in Financial Loss

Prague’s ambitious initiative to issue non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as a means to support the restoration of historical monuments and boost tourism has proven to be a disappointment. The Bohemian Muse NFT campaign, launched by Prague City Tourism (PCT) three months ago, has resulted in a significant financial loss rather than the expected success.

The campaign involved the issuance of 1357 unique tokens, each featuring a different female muse with distinctive appearances and clothing styles. The tokens were priced at 0.065 Ethereum (equivalent to approximately CZK 2500) and were exclusively available for purchase using cryptocurrencies. However, the interest in Prague’s NFTs has been lackluster, with only ten tokens being sold, amounting to CZK 25,000 in earnings. Meanwhile, the PCT incurred costs of CZK 500,000 for the campaign, resulting in a net loss.

PCT spokesperson Klára Janderová emphasized that the campaign was intended as a long-term project, and it was not expected for all tokens to be sold within the initial three-month period. The primary objective was to promote Prague’s historical monuments and attract potential visitors, rather than generating substantial revenue from the NFT sales.

While the NFTs can be viewed or downloaded for free on the internet, their value lies in the transparent record of ownership provided by blockchain technology, which can be verified through cryptocurrency platforms such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.

The PCT had hoped that the proceeds from NFT sales would contribute to the restoration of historical monuments and appeal to affluent visitors interested in Prague’s cultural heritage. Purchasing certain muses would have entitled owners to unique experiences, such as exclusive tours of landmarks like the Old Town Hall, sunrise climbs to the Petřín observation tower, or private concerts in Gothic towers.

Funding for the NFT campaign came from the PCT’s own resources, derived from its business activities rather than the public budget of Prague. The initiative was launched by the Prague-based agency, The Future Bakery, which won a tender for a medium-term communication strategy. The agency’s founders, Petr Topinka and Alexander Braun, renowned marketers who have previously worked on campaigns for the Czech political party ANO Andrej Babiš, as well as being involved in President Joe Biden’s successful election campaign in the United States.

The NFT project has fallen short of its goals thus far, leaving uncertainty as to whether it will generate significant revenue in the future. The PCT and its partners will need to reassess their strategies and explore alternative approaches to support the restoration of Prague’s historical treasures and attract visitors to the city.

Article by Prague Forum

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