Everything we know about Martin Shkreli, the DJT token, and the mysterious link to Barron Trump

Everything we know about Martin Shkreli, the DJT token, and the mysterious link to Barron Trump
People & culture
Martin Shkreli says he played a part in launching a Trump-themed memecoin. Credit: Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock
  • A new Trump-themed memecoin is causing chaos in the crypto community.
  • Backers of the token, including “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli, claim it has Trump family’s official endorsement.
  • But it appears Shkreli himself had a part in creating the token, with potential links to Barron Trump, the youngest son of Donald Trump.

Did former US president Donald Trump launch an official memecoin, DJT, on Solana?

The question has spawned a confusing debate in the crypto community — one that involves a $100 million bet, “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli, and Trump’s 18-year old son, Barron.

DL News takes it from the top.

Doubts about authenticity

Pirate Wires, a media company focused on technology and politics, reported on Monday that Barron Trump was “spearheading” the launch of an official Trump-themed memecoin, called DJT.

But Trump spokespeople have yet to make an announcement about DJT, raising questions about the accuracy of the report.

This radio silence has prompted Polymarket users to bet on whether DJT really was authorised by Trump.

As of this writing, over $2 million has been wagered — and the market ascribes only a 21% chance that, yes, the token was launched by Trump himself, or by a family member with Trump’s consent.

Enter Shkreli

Shkreli, the former pharmaceutical executive and hedge fund manager commonly known as “pharma bro,” quickly emerged as the token’s loudest backer.

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“Another Trump insider, more insider than me. A lot more coming,” Shkreli said on X, linking to a post, now deleted, from Bo Loudon, a self-described 17-year old Trump activist, that said: “DJT IS THE ONLY REAL TRUMP TOKEN.”

“I’m not telling you to buy or sell any token, just, hey, it’s real,” Shkreli added. He then called on doubters to bet money on the outcome with him.

A few market participants answered his challenge — including pseudonymous political bettor Domer, crypto trader Alex Wice, and pseudonymous crypto trader GCR.

Domer and Wice publicly agreed to bet $70,000 and $1 million, respectively, that the token was unauthorised.

$100 million bet

GCR, however, upped the ante to $100 million.

“The only way this is ‘real,’ is if Donald J. Trump says he launched a meme coin himself,” GCR posted.

“I’m well aware there is a cabal strategy to bribe people in the Trump orbit to pretend they had something to do with this, when in reality a cabal of crypto whales did a presale and allocation to KOLs,” he added, referring to crypto influencers.

GCR rose to fame in 2022 due to a series of legendary trading calls. He famously bet Do Kwon $10 million that Luna would collapse — only weeks before it happened.

He was also an early supporter of the first Trump-themed memecoin to ever launch, ticker MAGA, a reference to Trump’s presidential campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

GCR stated that he himself had been approached to help promote the token “a month ago” — an offer he claimed to have declined.


Crypto data firm Arkham Intelligence then entered the fray by announcing a $150,000 bounty to whomever could “definitely prove the identity of the DJT token.”

Pseudonymous onchain investigator ZachXBT subsequently claimed that Shkreli reached out to him after the bounty was issued.

A screenshot, posted by ZachXBT, shows Shkreli texting to him: “I have over 1000 pieces of evidence I created it with Barron.”

The screenshot also shows that social media personality Andrew Tate could have been approached to “buy in” DJT.

DL News has been unable to independently verify the claims.

Shkreli, Tate, ZachXBT, and the Trump campaign have not responded to requests for comment.

What now

Shkreli now says that he was “part of the team” behind the token, but he maintains that it was a collaborative effort. He has not disputed ZachXBT’s screenshot — “it’s unfortunate he chose to post it,” he said.

Jordan Fish, an early Bitcoin adopter commonly known as Cobie, was chosen as an escrow for the $100 million bet. Widely trusted in the industry, Cobie had already served as escrow for Do Kwon and GCR’s $10 million bet.

However, Cobie announced today that the bet had been called off because the parties involved couldn’t agree on the terms.

“Martin wants ‘Trump or his family created this,’ GCR wants ‘Donald Trump created this,’” Cobie said.

It’s still unclear whether DJT was actually made in collaboration with anyone from Trump’s team or family.

“The people involved don’t care, but this entire DJT clown show is such a bad look for crypto industry,” Nate Geraci, president of the ETF Store, posted on X.

“There are so many smart and talented people expending enormous amounts of effort to build meaningful projects with real value, but this is what will get headlines,” Geraci lamented.

Tom Carreras writes about markets for DL News. Got a tip about Trump and crypto? Reach out at tcarreras@dlnews.com

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