US

Donald Trump has released a second collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as the 2024 presidential race heats up.

The surreal pieces of digital art depict the former president as George Washington, a chess piece and a lion wrangler… but not at the same time.

A total of 47,000 NFTs were made available and cost $99 (£80) each – and the collection sold out in under 24 hours.

But their arrival has caused the value of NFTs from the first collection to fall sharply.

Trump promoted his new collection on Instagram, in what was his first post on the social network since his ban following the Capitol riots was lifted.

In a video, he described the NFTs as “beautiful” and “the greatest trading cards in history” – with “incredible artwork” that depicts him as a rockstar and a trucker.

But not everyone was overwhelmed with the quality of the non-fungible tokens, with some describing the artwork as “cringey”.

Anyone who bought 47 of these NFTs – at a cost of about $4,700 (£3,800) – would have been eligible for dinner with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

Estimates suggest that Trump made up to $1m (£800,000) through the sale of his first collection – and he may receive a similar windfall from this second release.

Molly Jane Zuckerman, opinion editor at the crypto news site Blockworks, told Sky News: “Everyone who says that the NFT market is dead is quite wrong.

“The fact that this particular collection sold out as quickly as it did is proof that people are still willing to buy literally anything if it’s an NFT.”

All of this comes weeks after Trump became the first former US president to face criminal charges.

Earlier this month, he appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts. He has been accused of using hush money payments to cover up alleged affairs.

How do these NFTs work?

NFTs took the world by storm in 2021.

“Non-fungible” effectively means each piece of artwork is unique, or a small number of them have been created.

An example of a fungible item is a banknote – if Kate gives Gemma a tenner, Kate wouldn’t be upset if she later received a different banknote back.

Plane tickets are a good example of something that’s non-fungible. While they may look the same, each one has a different seat number, class and destination. If Kate gave Gemma a first-class ticket to Sydney, she might be upset if she was given an economy ticket back.

When it comes to Donald Trump’s NFTs, no more than 10 copies of each trading card design have been created – and some are one of a kind.

This scarcity can cause the value of digital art to increase – but given that a total of 92,000 Trump NFTs now exist, there could be downward pressure on prices.

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