Former US President Donald Trump has launched a collection of digital trading cards in various guises, including a superhero, an astronaut, and a NASCAR driver. Mr. Trump said, “These limited edition cards feature the amazing ART of my life & career!” Last month the billionaire launched his third bid for the White House. He sparked speculation this week after he said he would make a “major announcement”.
Some commentators have speculated that he may name a running mate for his presidential campaign. Instead, Mr. Trump posted the campaign video on his social media platform, Truth Social. The clip features an animated version of the former president in front of Trump Tower in New York, taking off his shirt to reveal a superhero costume emblazoned with the letter T as lasers shoot from his eyes.
Later, Truth Social said Mr. Trump’s non-fungible tokens (NFTs) were “like a baseball card, but hopefully more exciting”. He said the cards, which cost $99 (£81) each, “would make a great Christmas present”. Buyers will be entered into a sweepstake for a chance to win prizes, including a gala dinner or a game of golf with Mr. Trump. NFTs have been touted as the digital answer to collectibles, but critics have warned of risks in the market.
In the digital world, “one-of-a-kind” assets are bought and sold like any other asset but do not have a form of their own. They can be thought of as certificates of ownership for virtual or physical assets. The announcement was criticized by social media users, with high-profile Republicans also speaking out. “I can’t do it anymore,” Steve Bannon, Mr-wing media commentator and former chief strategist for Mr. Trump, said of NFTs on his podcast.
Those involved in the project “should be fired today,” he said. Mr. Mocking Trump, US President Joe Biden said on Twitter that “there have been some major announcements over the last couple of weeks”. Others speculated that the sale of NFTs was intended to fund Mr. Trump’s tangled legal battles. According to the NFTs website, the funds will not go to his presidential campaign.
“These digital trading cards are non-political and not associated with any political campaign,” it said. “NFT INT LLC is not owned, operated or controlled by Donald J. Trump, The Trump Organization, CIC Digital LLC or their respective principals or affiliates,” it added.