If you are not up to speed on the latest technological trends, you may be wondering what the heck are these NFT trading cards that were issued by Donald Trump in a “big announcement” he released on December 15.
NFTs stand for non-fungible tokens, and I will explain them in more detail below. Initially, numerous social media scolds made fun of Trump for the sale as the former president is known for selling branded merchandise that fails to move the needle in the marketplace. But these NFTs have actually been a hit and sold out quickly.
Trump In All His Digital Glory
The “digital trading cards” have Trump posing as a superhero, astronaut, and cowboy, plus several other personas. My favorite is Trump as a fighter pilot. They were originally sold for $99 each. To make things more interesting, a purchase entered customers into a “sweepstakes” that could result in having dinner or playing golf with the former president. The Trump enterprise produced 45,000 NFTs. An estimated 14,000 people bought at least one of the trading cards. Newsweek said on December 16 that the “total Trump NFT collection currently has a value of around 460 Ethereum ($570,000),” Benzinga News revealed the sale raised $4.5 million.
What Is an NFT?
For those who are uninitiated, non-fungible tokens are digital collectibles. They are based on the same type of software code as cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Blockchain is a computerized distributed ledger of ordered blocks that is used for bitcoin and crypto and other purposes. Each NFT is a unique digital asset that you can invest in – like a physical work of art from a famous painter.
He’s Come a Long Way from Selling Ties
Trump, if nothing else, is a sales and marketing expert. I have to admit I even bought Trump ties for my wardrobe when they were in style. But the popularity of the NFTs are another surprise in his always evolving tastes and sales strategies.
Announcement Not Really “Major”
The proceeds for the NFTs will not go towards Trump’s political fund raising or the presidential campaign. The “major announcement” that Trump teased surprised those who thought it could be about a running mate or dropping out of the Republican party to become an independent.
Trump gleefully overhyped it in typical Trumpian fashion, and it led to top sales. He could easily release more NFTs but that may make their original value and worth diminish.
You Could Buy a Trumpy Bear for Christmas
You may not follow Trump merchandising from independent companies, but it runs the gamut from clothing to stuffed animals. One of the most amusing pieces of merch has to be “Trumpy Bear,” which is a bear stuffy that looks like Trump in all his glory complete with a business suit, America First tie, and that trademark yellow hair.
Doubtful It Will Spike the Polls
Will all of these products, especially the NFTs, lead to any type of bounce in polling? Probably not. But it shows that Trump has staying power with his fans. He is not fearful of riding the latest trends for his merchandise. However, he may have to do more extensive fundraising to pay for attorney fees from his multiple legal issues and quandaries. You have to hand it to Trump for keeping his sense of humor and belief in the “Art of the Deal” intact, despite what will be a drawn out courtroom process.
But it’s the Christmas season, even the president’s biggest enemies have to admit they are surprised that the NFTs were such a big hit.
Expert Biography: Serving as 1945’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.