In exchange for a cryptocurrency token, you can own a digital watercolor of Melania Trump’s eyes.
The former first lady started a company this week that sells NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, on her website in exchange for a Solana token currently valued at around $ 180 each.
Melania Trump will “periodically” post NFTs on its website, according to a press release, with a portion of the proceeds going to foster children. It is unclear what percentage of the proceeds will be donated or whether the donations will benefit certain charities for foster children. An email request about how the donations should be structured was not answered by Melania Trump’s press contact.
Aaron Dorfman, president and CEO of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, says when a company says “a portion of the proceeds” will go to charity without giving the exact amount, “it’s a huge red flag.”
“That means charity is not a serious part of their plan,” said Dorfman. “It’s a marketing ploy.”
The Trump family has a difficult history with charities, although Melania Trump was not directly involved in a dispute over a charity the family ran in New York.
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While he was still president, Donald Trump paid a court-ordered $ 2 million fine after admitting he used his charitable trust as a personal piggy bank. The fine was divided among eight charities.
The Trump Foundation was dissolved.
Additionally, Trump agreed to restrictions on starting a new charity or foundation, and New York State required compulsory education for its children Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump, all of whom were involved in the Trump Foundation.
Non-fungible tokens are essentially digital certificates of authenticity that can be attached to art, music, or any other type of digital file. NFTs confirm ownership of an item by recording the details on a digital ledger called a blockchain, which is public and stored on computers over the internet, making it virtually impossible to lose or destroy.
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An NFT from Beeple’s digital artist sold for nearly $ 70 million earlier this year. It sparked great interest in digital technology, which has been around for several years, and supported a bitcoin craze that made blockchain a household name. Digital cat figurines sold for six-figure sums back in 2017, and today you can buy LeBron James digital basketball highlight NFTs for a few dollars to nearly a quarter of a million dollars.
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Although they are often viewed as a fun hobby like collectibles because their values fluctuate, many view NFTs as an investment. Like cryptocurrencies, they are largely unregulated and many experts warn against putting money into them.