Donald Trump’s supporters are truly unmatched in their fandom for the former president. After announcing a 2024 Presidential bid, Trump is once again pushed to the center of a media frenzy. A mid-December announcement of a non-fungible token (NFT) drop has given plenty of ammo to opponents of a Trump presidency. Critics are labeling the Trump NFTs as a grift. And yet, they show Trump can still leverage astonishing amounts of merchandising revenue from even the slow-rolling NFT space.
NFTs have had little momentum going for them in recent months. Many had labeled the digital tokens a fad, at least in their current digital art niche. And in the second half of 2022, many of those critics probably feel quite vindicated. Trading volume had dropped 97% between January and September of this year, and price declines show that the market isn’t the cash cow it once was.
No project exemplifies this like the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection. Consistently ranking among the top NFT projects, not even Bored Apes have escaped NFT volatility. At the time of FTX’s early November collapse, Bored Ape prices were down 82% from their peak prices.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump has seen his own share of volatility. The former President, though looking to secure a second term, is struggling to hold the enormous momentum among Republicans he once held. Trump has seen a drastic decline in support from GOP voters after his campaign announcement. Political commentators suggest that Trump is in for a major struggle among his own political allies, too, speculating a run by the once-Trump ally Governor Ron DeSantis and others.
Obviously, there are rough waters facing both Trump and the NFT industry. Though, the former President has proven that he still holds enough support to turn a dying industry into a personal cash cow.
Trump NFTs Net Former President Millions in 12 Hours
The Trump NFTs were immediate joke material. First teased by Trump as a “MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT,” the big reveal left much to be desired. The tokens themselves have also been heavily ridiculed for their looks. Not to mention, folks on social media have pointed out that the art featured on them borrows from stock imagery found across the internet. And yet, with their obvious faults, Trump has been able to leverage the news for millions.
Priced at $99 apiece on release, Trump released a whopping 44,000 tokens for purchase on Dec. 15. Less than 12 hours later, all 44,000 had sold. Even after paying the hefty 10% creator fee, the sale netted just over $3.9 million. That’s no small change, especially for an NFT industry that has seen far better days. Though, it’s unclear how much money Trump will personally get out of the release; the company behind the sale is an LLC called NFT INC, with a mailing address located at a Utah UPS store.
Data from OpenSea shows the buyers of this collection represent some of the most fervent Trump fans. The total number of owners of these NFTs is just 15,420 users. This means that on average, each purchaser bought three different NFTs for about $300. Many of these buyers are getting their money’s worth out of flipping the tokens, and they’re proving quite successful. The average Trump NFT is reselling at about 0.25 Ethereum (ETH-USD), or about $300 apiece. Some have even sold for as high as $900.
Of course, the news has brought in a fair bit of ridicule, even from the Saturday Night Live writers’ room; after all, there are fewer topics criticized more in 2022 than NFTs and Donald Trump. Regardless, political opponents should be taking note of the sale as a point of concern heading into the 2024 race. His support might have tanked since 2020. But, Trump has demonstrated an astonishing ability to pull funds out of any industry, struggling or not. The success of the NFT sale might even push the former President to bring back Trump Steaks for a second go.
On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.