Prague’s initiative to issue non-fungible tokens (NFTs) three months ago was a flop. The city hoped to support the care and restoration of historical monuments while promoting tourism. However, the campaign has only resulted in a significant loss.
The Bohemian Muse NFT campaign was launched by the Prague City Tourism (PCT) organization, which issued a total of 1357 unique tokens featuring various female muses with different appearances and clothing styles. The number of tokens refers to the year the Charles Bridge was built.
Despite being priced at 0.065 Ethereum, equivalent to approximately CZK 2500, and payable exclusively in cryptocurrencies, the interest in Prague’s NFTs is shallow. Only ten of the tokens have been sold, earning CZK 25,000. The PCT spent CZK 500,000 on the campaign, which resulted in a net loss.
However, PCT spokesperson Klára Janderová clarified that the campaign was a long-term project, and all tokens were not expected to be sold within three months. She also emphasized that the primary goal was not to earn money from the sales but to promote Prague’s historical monuments and attract potential visitors.
The NFTs are on the internet, where anyone can view or download them for free. Perfect copies of the tokens can be made, which raises the question of why someone would be willing to pay a sometimes exorbitant price. However, owning an NFT provides a transparent record of ownership, which can be verified through blockchain servers that use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum.
The PCT had hoped that the sale of the NFTs would support the restoration of historical monuments and attract wealthy potential visitors to Prague. The purchase of some of the muses would have entitled owners to participate in various prepared experiences, such as a private tour of the Old Town Hall, a sunrise climb to the Petřín observation tower, or a private concert in one of Prague’s Gothic towers.
The PCT’s resources funded the campaign, obtained through its business activities, not the Prague public budget. The project was initiated by 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, are well-known marketers who have worked on campaigns for the Czech political party ANO Andrej Babiš. Braun is also a leading figure in the US marketing industry and played a role in President Joe Biden’s successful election campaign.
The NFT project has so far failed to achieve its goals, and it remains to be seen if it will generate any significant revenue in the future.