Melania Trump’s NFT drop: A scandal or success?

NFT’s have taken and continue to take the Cryptocurrency world by storm with their attractive forms, modern aspects and competitive costs. Non-Fungible Tokens have existed in varying formats, of which include drawings, digital images, music files, makeup releases, NBA video clips and even virtual houses. With celebrities like Lionel Messi, Justin Bieber, Steph Curry and Snoop Dogg all taking a bite out of the action, it comes as no surprise that everyone is wanting to join in on the buying and selling craze. 

The latest famous figure to play their hand in the NFT game is former United States of America First Lady, Melania Trump. However, this has come into the news more so as a scandal of her actions, rather than their successes, as it has been reported that she was the buyer of her own NFT release.

To provide some background, in December of 2021, Melania Trump’s office made an announcement that Mrs Trump was due to start an NFT platform that would release NFTs in regular intervals that contained digital content featuring moments from her time in the White House. Within the announcement, the former First Lady explained how her new project ‘embodies my passion for the arts, and how it will be supporting her ongoing commitment to children through my Be Best initiative.’ She added that ‘through this new technology-based platform, we will provide children computer science skills including programming and software development to thrive after they age out of the foster community.”

In January of this year, an NFT drop was held that contained a package of a watercolour painting of Mrs Trump in a white hat while on a state visit of the French President at the White House in 2018, the NFT of that painting, and the hat that she wore during the event. The auction went live using Solana, a public blockchain site. Her website published that the sale of the package reached 1800 SOL, which equates to $170,000. This was also roughly $80,000 short of the goal Mrs Trump had set for her NFT drop.

Once the sale was made, the website also revealed the address of the wallet that achieved the winning bid. Due to the nature of Blockchain’s technology, NFT fans were able to trace where the payment came from, and ultimately identified this as an individual who used a cryptocurrency wallet that had received funding from the seller’s wallet. This essentially means that the winner of the NFT package received the money it used to purchase the package from the creator of the NFT itself.

Some NFT specialists have since been attempting to conclude reasons why this may have happened to the former first lady. Some have concluded that the buy simply paid with dollars instead of a type of cryptocurrency, which meant that the dollars were immediately converted into SOL. (This is the cryptocurrency that is automatically used on the Solana NFT site.) Others have suggested that that payment was indeed made by the Former First Lady herself, in an attempt to increase the publicity, and therefore the price, of the package at a time when there may have been little to no interest in her drop. 

Mrs Trumps’ husband and Former President, Donald Trump has previously expressed his dislike towards the rise in cryptocurrency use by stating that ‘Bitcoin seems like a scam’, and that ‘I don’t like it because it’s another currency competing against the dollar.’ However things seemed to have turned around for Mr Trump, as around the time of his wife’s NFT drop, he expressed his support for the launch; ‘The launch of Melania’s new NFT business epitomises our American spirit of ingenuity, creativity, and entrepreneurship.’

If you have any questions concerning the topics in this article, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with the team at Lawdit Solicitors today.

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