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This Week on Crypto Twitter: Musk Pumps Dogecoin and Mocks Warren, Melania Trump Goes NFT

Elon Musk had a mostly one-way flame war with U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gifted him an NFT.

5 min read
Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt

Elon Musk dominated Crypto Twitter this week. 

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO found himself in Senator Elizabeth Warren’s crosshairs on Monday and promptly went on the defensive. He also made a big announcement about Tesla and Dogecoin, and later he even surfaced on Turkish Twitter. Former first lady Melania Trump also announced her first step into crypto through a new NFT venture. 

Read on to find out more in our weekly roundup of the Crypto Twitter buzz that was.

Musk Mania

On Monday, TIME named Elon Musk its 2021 Person of the Year. The magazine, which has gone all in on NFTs, surely knew Musk is a loose cannon on Twitter. And it only took one day for him to fire off tweets that led some people to criticize TIME for choosing him.

On Tuesday, Musk got around to replying to a Monday tweet from Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren that targeted Musk: “Let’s change the rigged tax code so The Person of the Year will actually pay taxes and stop freeloading off everyone else.”

Musk replied: “Stop projecting! You remind me of when I was a kid and my friend’s angry Mom would just randomly yell at everyone for no reason.” Thirteen minutes later, he tweeted another response, even saltier: “Please don’t call the manager on me, Senator Karen 🙏" 

He didn’t stop there. A few hours later, Musk was back on Twitter with a comment that replied more directly to Warren’s specific critique: “And if you opened your eyes for 2 seconds, you would realize I will pay more taxes than any American in history this year.”

His fifth and final jab was pithy: “Don’t spend it all at once… oh wait you did already.” Warren didn’t reply. 

Earlier in the day on Tuesday, hours before he went after Warren, Musk casually tweeted that Tesla will accept Dogecoin for merchandise payments and "see how it goes.” The world’s favorite meme coin surged 20% from his tweet. 

Later in the week, Musk popped up on Turkish Twitter with a piece of crypto-related news. The Tesla CEO’s other company, rocket manufacturer SpaceX, was selected by the Turkish republic to launch two satellites this year for the state-owned communications satellite operator Türksat. 

The first was launched back in January. The second one is being launched today. As a thank you, president Erdoğan told Musk over a video conference that he will receive an NFT made of satellite art created by 5,000 schoolchildren. Isn’t that nice? 

Melania x Solana

On Thursday, former First Lady Melania Trump tweeted that she will launch the “Melania Trump NFT platform,” which will sell NFTs exclusively via her website MelaniaTrump.com

Her NFT releases will be minted on Solana. Within minutes, a Solana Labs spokesperson sent crypto media this statement: “I wanted to inform you, to avoid any confusion, that her choice to use the Solana blockchain was completely organic, and this project is not part of any Solana-led initiative.”

Trump’s first NFT project is a collaboration with watercolorist Marc-Antoine Coulon. The debut piece is called "Melania’s Vision" and “embodies Mrs Trump’s cobalt blue eyes,” according to a statement from the former First Lady. The buyer of the NFT will also get a physical amulet and an audio recording of the former first lady giving a “message of hope.”

Anyone who purchases a Melania Trump NFT will receive a digital copy, a physical copy and an accessory. "Melania’s Vision" will go on sale for 1 SOL (about $185) and proceeds of all her NFTs will go toward her Be Best initiative, a charity to help disadvantaged children.

Gamers vs NFTs

On Thursday, game developer GSC Game World canceled its plans for NFTs in its upcoming title S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, after vocal backlash from the gaming world. 

This isn’t the first time gamers have reacted strongly to an NFT announcement. Ubisoft faced a similar response over its decision to implement NFTs in its new “Ghost Recon” game, and Discord scrapped a possible Metamask wallet integration due to similar responses. 

Gamers’ rejection of NFTs has yet to be addressed adequately by the industry, but the clash is unlikely to dissipate just yet. Many of them appear convinced that NFTs are stupid, or a shameless cash grab, or bad for the environment—or all the above.

Adidas x BAYC

Finally, Adidas Originals’ debut NFT drop on Friday—a collaboration with Bored Ape Yacht Club, PUNKS Comic NFT creator Pixel Vault, and NFT collector gmoney—netted $23.4 million in just a few hours to become the number one NFT project by daily trading volume yesterday, though it has since dropped to second place today, according to CryptoSlam

In Adidas’s general sale, the NFTs were capped to two per customer, but that didn’t stop one customer from devising a fascinating workaround using a custom smart contract. The contract generated 165 sub-contracts with unique addresses; each sub-smart contract minted two NFTs apiece in one transaction, then sent the 330 NFTs over to the creator’s main ETH address. Blockchain engineer Montana Wong explained it all in a thread, which was later verified by the contract’s creator. 

It was altogether another wild and spicy week on Crypto Twitter, despite a lull in the coin market. Sometimes, prices are the least interesting thing about crypto.

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