Melania Trump’s NFT hits the market as Donald Trump’s legal fees top $86m

Melania Trump’s NFT hits the market as Donald Trump’s legal fees top $86m
Web3People & culture
Former First Lady Melania Trump just released an NFT for a necklace as her husband stands trial. Credit: Andrés Tapia
  • Donald Trump has warmed to crypto since dismissing Bitcoin as a 'scam.'
  • NFTs offer a ready-made way to raise cash but valuations can plunge fast.
  • The first of Trump's four criminal trials kicked off this week.

In 2022, Melania Trump’s first NFT flopped.

Depicting a white hat she wore at a White House function, the former first lady was reported to have paid the $185,000 price tag herself.

Now she’s back with a new offering — a gold necklace engraved with her signature for $245 a pop. Buyers will automatically get access to an NFT version.

And her husband, ex-president Donald Trump, may be tempted to rekindle his own relationship with NFTs as his legal bills mount.

Four criminal trials

As the first of Donald Trump’s four criminal trials opened this week in Manhattan, his legal costs have hit a staggering $86 million since he started his presidential campaign, according to The Washington Post.

The New York real estate magnate has resorted once again to slapping his name on consumer products to raise cash.

In February, he started hawking the “Never Surrender High-tops,” gold-coloured sneakers sporting an American flag motif, for $399.99 a pair.

Before he won the White House in 2016, Donald Trump peddled everything from Trump Steaks to Trump Vodka to a Trump University (it closed after numerous investigations and lawsuits).

Join the community to get our latest stories and updates

Donald Trump has been tapping his political campaign committees to pay more than a quarter of his legal bills, according to The Washington Post.

With NFTs so easy to make and sell, can they be far behind?

In December, Donald Trump released an NFT of his mugshot taken after he was arraigned on charges he broke Georgia election law in 2016.

A year earlier, Donald Trump released two series of baseball card-style NFTs featuring himself in a range of heroic costumes and poses such as hunting gear or wearing a cowboy hat. They are worth a combined $13 million, according to NFT Price Floor.

According to OpenSea, the popular NFT marketplace where Donald Trump’s NFTs are traded, secondary sales earned a 10% royalty fee. This fee became optional in March.

‘A scam’

Donald Trump’s embrace of crypto has evolved since 2021, when he dismissed Bitcoin as “a scam against the dollar.”

He’s agreed with lawmakers from both political parties that a US digital dollar — a CBDC in crypto lingo — would be a threat to Americans’ civil liberties.

Last month, the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee suggested he wouldn’t crack down on crypto if returned to the White House.

“I’m not sure that I’d want to take it [cryptocurrencies] away at this point,” he told CNBC.

Even though web3 is on the upswing thanks to the Bitcoin-led rally, NFTs are a less than dependable cash cow.

The value of Donald Trump’s first trading card collection plummeted 50% shortly after he launched the second edition.

In the last three months, both collections have lost speculators’ attention, with trading volumes for each plummeting more than 30%.

Exploding rose

This hasn’t deterred Melania Trump from trying her own luck in the space. On her website, the former fashion model offers NFTs of her portrait, and an exploding rose.

She pledges that proceeds from the latter will go to Fostering the Future, a charity for kids ageing out of the foster care system.

On another site, she offers others depicting the Declaration of Independence, scenes from Donald Trump’s presidency, and the moon landing.

Liam Kelly and Joanna Wright write about web3 for DL News. Reach out to them at liam@dlnews.com and joanna@dlnews.com.

Related Topics