Earlier in the week, Donald Trump teased a “major announcement” on TruthSocial, the platform he took over after being banned from Twitter last year. Few speculated that Trump would announce his running mate for the 2024 presidential election, or some other important detail for his campaign. the news turned out to be disappointing Even for some Trump supporters: A Trump-themed NFT collection.
“My Official Donald Trump Digital Trading Card Collection Is Here!” he posted on Thursday. Trump never used the abbreviation “NFT” in the post, but it is in fact “digital trading cards”: 45,000 NFTs on the Polygon blockchain, priced at $99 each.
Although the NFT was widely derided by both Trump supporters and cynics, all 45,000 sold out in about 12 hours, according to OpenSea data. At $99 each, that means $4.45 million has been raised. The creators of the collection receive 10% of every sale on secondary markets such as OpenSea. Thus far merchants have spent $5.2 million (4,442 Ether) trading cards on OpenSea, giving creators an additional $520,000.
NFT traders don’t miss a good opportunity to speculate, leading to strong secondary market performance for the collection. The cheapest Donald Trump Trading Card NFT is now selling for around $650, more than six times the original $99 asking price.
The Trump NFT is beyond infomercial parody. Levels of Jesus Christ Beyond parodies on popsicle sticks. (I know you’re thinking this is a deeply fake parody. It’s not. Just saw it on his website.) pic.twitter.com/2hEHzcUxAk
— Dan Murphy (@bungdan) December 15, 2022
Donald Trump in 2021: Crypto is dangerous. It could be an explosion like we’ve never seen before.
Donald Trump in 2022: I’m collecting my first official NFT. pic.twitter.com/lHRxWUYNqw
— Altcoin Daily (@AltcoinDailyio) December 15, 2022
NFT INT, the company behind the collection, states on its site that the funds raised will not be put towards Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign. A blurb on its site states that NFT INT is not owned by Trump or any of his organizations, and that Trump himself is not actually behind the collection. Instead, Trump licensed his name, image and likeness to the project.
Even if the money being raised by NFT INT is not funding Trump’s 2024 campaign, however, the money Trump makes through licensing his name and likeness may be.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are tokens on a blockchain that certify ownership of a digital asset. They are to digital goods what a deed is to a house. The first NFT collections date back to 2017, but the market exploded last year as a powerful wave of speculation drove prices to astonishing levels. The most famous collection, The Bored Ape Yacht Club, launched at around $250 and peaked in price earlier this year at $400,000 a pop.
Yet economic uncertainty and rising interest rates have dampened much of the enthusiasm. Trading volume on OpenSea, the biggest market for such goods, reached $250 million last month – compared to $2.5 billion in May. Trump’s entry into NFTs follows that of his wife, Melania, but comes at a much less auspicious time.
Trump described the art as “exactly like a baseball card, but much more exciting than expected”.
Buying a Trump NFT enters you into a raffle to win several prizes, including a one-on-one meeting with Trump at Mar-a-Lago. Those over 45 who purchase the card get a chance to meet the former president at a lavish dinner in Florida. According to Dune data, 202 people have more than 45 NFTs in their digital wallets so far.