Melania Trump’s latest venture is beginning to backfire, as her most recent NFT auction, which she announced early this month, netted far less than its minimum starting bid because of the crashing values of many cryptocurrencies.
The package was called the “Head of State Collection, 2022” and included a white, broad-brimmed hat Trump wore when French President Emmanuel Macron visited the White House in 2018. The collection required a minimum bid of $250,000 to be paid in the form of the cryptocurrency SOL.
In the weeks leading up to the auction, however, SOL saw a significant reduction in value, going from 1 SOL being worth around $170 when the collection was first announced, to a low of $95 when the auction began on Wednesday.
According to public transaction records on the Solana blockchain, which houses the SOL cryptocurrency and where the proof-of-ownership of the official NFT will be minted, only five transactions were made in the auction. Each bid was just around the minimum of 1,800 SOL, which due to decreased value only netted the former first lady $170,000 by the time the auction closed.
SOL is not the only cryptocurrency that has been fluctuating wildly this month. Bitcoin and Ethereum both plummeted in value over the weekend, concerning some and prompting discussions as to whether federal regulators will step in soon. While this volatility is nothing new, and Bitcoin prices have been seen going up today, it shows people who are newly attracted to the crypto trend that it may not be the gold rush they were expecting.
As for Trump, she can either take the loss and cash out her tokens now or wait and see if SOL bounces back and increases in value. Mrs. Trump said that “a portion” of the auction’s proceeds would be used for helping children in foster care gain access to computer science education. It is not clear what percentage her camp intends to use for this purpose.
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