By Nikhila Natarajan
New York, Dec 16 (IANS) Melania Trump launched a platform for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) Thursday, together with “Melania’s Vision,” a digital artwork and audiofile and limited edition NFTs.
Data from DappRadar, a firm that tracks sales, showed that trading reached $22bn in 2021, compared with just $100m in 2020, and that the floor market cap of the top 100 NFTs ever issued a” a measure of their collective value – was $16.7bn.
A handout to Breitbart News said the proceeds will go towards Trump’s “efforts to support children in the foster care system”.
“Mrs. Trump will release NFTs in regular intervals exclusively on MelaniaTrump.com. The first, ‘Melania’s Vision’ will be available to purchase between December 16 and December 31, 2021.”
NFTs are unique and non-interchangeable units of data stored on blockchains, the decentralised ledger technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
They are typically an identity proof of a digital or physical asset, including pictures, videos, and audio files, often compared to certificates of authenticity used to verify a work as authentic or original.
Trolls lost little time reminding the 45th first lady of a New York state judge’s order November asking the Trumps to pay $2 million to a collection of nonprofit organizations – as settlement with the NY state Attorney General’s office – for unlawfully coordinating with the 2016 Trump campaign.
NFTs have been hogging the news in 2021 with a heady mix of celebrity quotient and sheer wealth.
Recently, international rapper The Game along with some known names of Bollywood, singer Mika Singh, rapper Raftaar, photographer Dabboo Ratnani, fashion designer Lubna Adams, boxers Mary Kom, Vijendra Singh, Lovlina Borgohain, the Great Khali, Indian hockey team captains Manpreet Singh and Rani Rampal, table tennis player Manika Batra, athlete Hima Das, YouTuber Amit Bandana and new-age influencers Jannat Zubair, Nikki Tamboli, Reem Sameer, took to Twitter to announce an association with OFTEN, “the world’s largest celeb-centric NFT platform” to sell exclusive NFT artworks.
BollyCoin, an NFT platform backed by actor Salman Khan, has announced an NFT collection from his Dabangg franchise.
There were quirks too.
Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs, some of the most expensive NFTs around, had one of them accidentally sold for $3,015 despite being valued at $300,000. The owner, who went by the name Max, had wanted to list his Bored Ape NFT for 75 Ether only to end up listing it for 0.75 Ether, due to a “lapse of concentration”.
MG Motor in India is releasing an NFT series of 1,000 separate tokens.
An NFT memorialising Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales’s first edit on the online reference resource 20 years ago and the computer he used when programming the platform sold for a total of almost $1 million at auction Wednesday.
The most valuable NFT sale this year was The First 5000 Days, a digital collage by Beeple, the name used by the American digital artist Mike Winkelmann, that was auctioned for $69.3m in March, making it one of the most valuable pieces of art ever sold by a living artist.
Another Beeple NFT, Human One, sold for $29m.
Other multimillion-dollar NFTs included the Bored Ape Yacht Club, a collection of 10,000 NFTs represented as cartoon primates that are used as profile photos on the social media accounts of their owners and which raised $26.2m. Celebrity BAYC owners include the talk show host Jimmy Fallon and the rapper Post Malone.
In a comment to Breitbart News, the former First Lady said she believes blockchain technology provides a platform in which creators can reach people directly, without the interference of censorious gatekeepers.
(Nikhila Natarajan tracks big tech trends, tweets @byniknat)