It looks like Melania Trump’s office was the source of the cryptocurrency that was used to buy her nonfungible token (NFT) artwork at auction on Tuesday. Vice reported on this weird chain of events.
Last year, the former first lady entered the world of NFTs with the creation of her own website and a series of auctions. A package sale featuring the “iconic white millinery masterpiece worn by Mrs. Trump,” a wide-brimmed hat she wore during a 2018 visit with French President Emanuel Macron, and an NFT was put up for auction on the Solana blockchain on Jan. 11. “The equivalent of $250,000” in SOL tokens 1,800 SOL at the time was the starting bid, according to a news release, and a “part” of the revenues would be used to “give computer science and technology education to foster children.”
In a follow-up article afterward, the New York Times reported that the auction had drawn bids totaling 1,800 SOL, with the NFT eventually selling for $170,000 (now $200,000) — a price far below that stated in the auction’s press release and one that the paper characterised as “deflated results” due to a general decline in the value of cryptocurrency.
Solana blockchain records reviewed by Motherboard and shared with an independent researcher show that Melania Trump bought the NFT collection herself, or at least someone who set it up for her. People from the company said this in a statement to Motherboard “The Office of Melania Trump Each transaction can be seen by everyone because it is kept in a public ledger called the blockchain. The deal was done on behalf of a third-party buyer.”
There are many ways to see who bought the NFT on the blockchain, but Trump’s office would not say who bought the NFT or how it was set up.