Melania Trump Starts Blockchain Venture, Releases First NFT

By Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Reporter
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'
December 16, 2021 Updated: December 16, 2021

Former First Lady Melania Trump has ventured into the non-fungible token (NFT) realm, releasing her first token and starting a new platform that will roll out NFTs regularly, with some of the proceeds going to help children in the foster care community.

Called “Melania’s Vision,” the first NFT featured on the new platform is a watercolor art by artist Marc-Antoine Coulon, which “embodies Melania’s cobalt blue eyes, providing the collector with an amulet to inspire,” according to Trump’s office.

The token, which includes an audio message from the former First Lady, will be available for purchase at roughly $150 between Dec. 16 and Dec. 31.

“Excited for this new venture, which combines my passion for art and commitment to helping our Nation’s children fulfill their own unique American Dream,” Melania Trump wrote on Twitter.

The move is part of the former First Lady’s ongoing engagement in child welfare advocacy.

“Through this new technology-based platform, we will provide children computer science skills, including programming and software development, to thrive after they age out of the foster community,” Melania Trump said in a statement.

NFTs will be released at regular intervals on the platform, which is powered by Parler and will use the Solana blockchain protocol. A “one-of-a-kind auction of historical importance” is scheduled in January and will include three elements—digital art, physical art, and a unique physical accessory, Melania Trump’s office stated.

With the move, the former First Lady joins a growing list of celebrities who have launched their own NFT collections. An NFT is a digital asset that uses blockchain technology to record the ownership status of digital objects.

The craze in non-fungible tokens prompted Collins Dictionary to pick “NFT” as its Word of the Year.

“It’s unusual for an abbreviation to experience such a meteoric rise in usage, but the data we have from the Collins Corpus reflects the remarkable ascendancy of the NFT in 2021,” Collins Learning Managing Director Alex Beecroft told The Guardian. “NFTs seem to be everywhere, from the arts sections to the financial pages and in galleries and auction houses and across social media platforms.”

Interest has surged in the global NFT market, which hit $22 billion in 2021 compared to just $100 million in 2020, according to data from DappRadar.

Tom Ozimek
Reporter
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'