In the old days, when a celebrity was desperate for quick cash to pay off gambling debts or whatever, they could dash off a For Dummies book in a hurry. That was before Wiley bought the For Dummies trademark, back when the publisher, IDG, spent more time and money on defending the books against negative reviews online than on actually proofreading the hastily written manuscripts.
Although Melania Trump knows English way better than her current husband, she probably wouldn’t be able to write a For Dummies book. That’s mainly because First Lady Michelle Obama hasn’t written a For Dummies book.
In any case, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) might be more her thing. Kate Bennett reports for CNN:
After months of relative public silence, former ... Melania Trump before Christmas emerged from private life to announce a new project: A piece of artwork, a watercolor closeup of her eyes, in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT) was now available for purchase.
"I am proud to announce my new NFT endeavor, which embodies my passion for the arts, and will support my ongoing commitment to children through my Be Best initiative," said Trump in a statement released via her social media platforms and on her website. Trump has since posted on her Twitter account 17 times about the endeavor.
What’s an NFT anyway? I turn to For Dummies (generally more reliable now that Wiley runs it) for an explanation of the concept of NFTs.
A non-fungible (meaning unique, non-replaceable) token (NFT) is a unique digital code that represents some kind of digital item. It could be digital art or music, for example. An NFT is secured and stored on a public blockchain. One token is not interchangeable for another, and a token cannot be further divided.
There are many different types of non-fungible tokens, and they can be created on well-known blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Popular NFT use cases
Use cases for NFTs abound, and the creator economy has rapidly embraced this method of securing digital provenance. Here are some popular examples:
- Digital art: This category has enjoyed some of the highest selling prices and also represents the first NFT use case, which can be traced back to Kevin McCoy’s “Quantum” (minted in 2014). Many platforms now exist to allow anyone to mint an NFT of their digital art.
The other popular NFT use cases are sports collectibles (what? how?), game assets (I guess this would be like a costume for your Fortnite character to wear), music and memes.
So Melania Trump has gone with the digital art use case for NFTs. She must’ve spent hours lovingly looking into a mirror, painstakingly capturing on canvas the… wait, that doesn’t sound quite right… Back to Bennett’s CNN article:
Her NFT, entitled "Melania's Vision," and drawn by French artist Marc-Antoine Coulon,
Ah, that explains it.
is available through December 31 through the cryptocurrency Solana, at a cost of approximately $175 -- depending on the market -- and has an authenticated identity via blockchain. The sales could be incredibly lucrative for Trump, one of several celebrities -- including Paris Hilton, Shawn Mendes, Tom Brady, Kate Moss and Grimes -- who have recently dipped into the NFT market and emerged hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars richer. Fans are often enticed by the opportunity to own a unique digital piece of memorabilia or original artwork.
I guess she’s got fans, though if you’re reading this, you’re probably not one of them. Nor are you in any hurry to plunk down anything equivalent to $175 for Coulon’s watercolor.
"Through this new technology-based initiative, we will provide children computer science skills, including programming and software development, to thrive after they age out of the foster care community," added Trump in Thursday's statement, noting not every dollar of profit is intended solely for her, yet neglecting to clarify how, when and to what extent the charitable component will be a part of the process.
Yeah, she’s a Trump alright.
Bennett rounds out the article explaining that
[Melania] Trump's delving into the world of NFT appears [to be] another example of her inattention to the former ...'s public comments, flying in the face of his recent takes on cryptocurrency, which he publicly bashed during two separate interviews with Fox Business.
Cryptocurrency, Donald Trump said in June, is a "scam against the dollar," and he questioned the veracity of the rising trend.
My guess is that back then he didn’t understand how he or anyone in his circle could cash in on that “scam against the dollar.” Now that Melania might cash in, he’s changed his tune.