Oh boy, what a doozy. Bloomberg Wealth reports:
The source of funds for the winning bid in Melania Trump’s first NFT auction appears to be the creators of the project themselves.
Shocking. Just... shocking!
A series of blockchain transactions show that the cryptocurrency used to purchase Trump’s nonfungible token came from a wallet that belongs to the entity that originally listed the project for sale. The former first lady began an auction in January for a collection of NFTs on the Solana blockchain, with art from her first official state visit in 2018.
Bloomberg's reporting is largely driven from a Vice article that discovered the trail of funds:
The auction winner's address was funded with 1,800 SOL on January 25, which came from an address (let's call it Address X) that was itself funded by the address that created Melania's NFT. After the auction, the NFT creator address sent 180,000 SOL back to Address X which converted it into USDC, a stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar.
I see a lot of value in smart contracts and blockchain technology, but I'm not quite there yet on Cryptocurrencies as a means for Decentralized Finance due to access to - and understanding of - the technology required to operate. In short, it's great for technologically advanced first-world countries with digital infrastrcuture and knowledge to implement, but what about the rest of the globe?
As for Melania's NFT collection, I just can't get over the fact that anyone would pay up to $200,000 USD for a receipt of a photo of her hat. Tell me again how this isn't a fancy money laundering scheme?