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Data Shows Melania Trump NFT Sale Was a Wash Trade

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Motherboard investigated the transactions of the NFT.
  • The address that minted the NFT paid USDC to an intermediary address, which then sent the bid amount to a third address that purchased the NFT.
  • The Office of Melania Trump offered a statement to Motherboard, though it did not say much.
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Melania Trump recently sold an NFT of a hat she wore during a visit with French President Emmanuel Macron for $170,000. Blockchain data shows that the NFT ended up selling to its creators.

Melania Trump has sold her first NFT — but blockchain data shows that the NFT was sold to the creators themselves. The NFT, which comes from the series “Head of State Collection, 2022” was minted on the Solana Blockchain. The winning bid was 1800 SOL, worth about $170,000 at the time of purchase.

The NFT was that of a hat she wore during a visit with French President Emmanuel Macron in 2018 and was also accompanied by the physical item. Melania Trump first announced a foray into NFTs last year, describing it as being a combination of her

“passion for art and commitment to helping our Nation’s children fulfill their own unique American Dream.”

The transaction worked as follows. The first address, which minted the NFT, sent roughly $473,650 USDC to an intermediary address. This intermediary address swapped some of that USDC for just over 1,816 SOL, which was sent to a third address, which was the one that purchased it.

Motherboard first investigated the transaction, noticing that whoever set up the auction had purchased the NFT. Interestingly, representatives of Melania Trump offered a statement to Motherboard, saying that

“the nature of Blockchain protocol is entirely transparent. Accordingly, the public can view each transaction on the blockchain. The transaction was facilitated on behalf of a third-party buyer.”

The statement does not really address the matter at hand, avoiding saying who exactly bought the NFT. It remains a strange set of events, with no updates from Melania Trump or her office.

NFT popularity still on the rise

The fact that the spouse of a former head of state has sold a non-fungible token is something of a major development. NFTs, ridiculed by some and loved by others, have shown no signs of abating, and their popularity has reached political spheres.

While those in politics, even formerly so, have stayed out of releasing NFTs, it may not be the case in the future with how things are going. As it stands, NFTs are finding ways in all sorts of industries and niches. For example, a Julian Assange NFT has seen bids cross $50 million.

The music industry seems to be gearing up for a revolution, with the number of related NFT platforms growing. NFTs are seen as a way to improve fan engagement and improve revenue generation for artists. Even YouTube is reportedly considering NFTs for content creators.

Top crypto platforms in the US | February 2024

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Rahul Nambiampurath
Rahul Nambiampurath's cryptocurrency journey first began in 2014 when he stumbled upon Satoshi's Bitcoin whitepaper. With a bachelor's degree in Commerce and an MBA in Finance from Sikkim Manipal University, he was among the few that first recognized the sheer untapped potential of decentralized technologies. Since then, he has helped DeFi platforms like Balancer and Sidus Heroes — a web3 metaverse — as well as CEXs like Bitso (Mexico's biggest) and Overbit to reach new heights with his...
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