Former president Donald Trump was uncharacteristically quiet during his presidency when it came to cryptocurrency, tweeting about crypto just once during his four years in office.
Yet in recent months, Donald and the rest of the Trump family have generated an array of crypto-related headlines.
The former president is not now—nor has he ever been—a fan of crypto.
“I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air,” Trump tweeted in July 2019. “Unregulated crypto assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity.”
That tweet—now deleted along with the rest of Trump’s Twitter account—got Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong’s attention.
“Achievement unlocked! I dreamt about a sitting U.S. president needing to respond to growing cryptocurrency usage years ago,” Armstrong tweeted. “‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.’ We just got to step 3 y’all.”
And if you ask former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci (we did), Trump may not have even written that tweet.
“I could tell very quickly when Trump himself was writing a tweet, they were loaded with malapropisms and misspellings and a lack of commas, just this stream-of-consciousness ranting,” he told Decrypt last year.
But if there was any lingering doubt, Trump dispelled it in June 2021, when he told Stuart Varney on Fox Business that Bitcoin “just seems like a scam.”
Trump added, “I don’t like it, because it’s another currency competing against the dollar. I want the dollar to be the currency of the world. That’s what I’ve always said.”
In December, Donald doubled (tripled?) down, calling cryptocurrency a “very dangerous thing.”
Interestingly, when it comes to cryptocurrency, Trump actually agrees with former rivals Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren.
“What looks like a very interesting and exotic effort… has the potential for undermining currencies, for undermining the role of the dollars as reserve currencies, for destabilizing nations,” Clinton said last November. Warren has been far more vocal, declaring that crypto puts the financial system "at the whims of some shadowy, faceless group of super-coders and miners."
The former First Lady appears to have a far more positive view of crypto compared with her husband's, so much so that she launched her first NFT last year. (NFTs are the blockchain-based tokens used to signify ownership over a digital or physical asset.)
A collection called the “Head of State” became available via auction through her website from December 16 to December 31, for the price of 1 SOL, about $185 at the time.
Her NFT collection launched on Solana, which led a Solana Labs spokesperson to reach out to Decrypt and clarify that the company wasn't involved in her project.
“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,” the spokesperson said.
MoonPay, which Melania had claimed would handle future NFT payments, also attempted to distance themselves from her collection. “While we encourage everyone to be involved in Web 3.0, we would like to clarify that we are not partnered with Melania, nor can users purchase her collection using this payment method,” MoonPay tweeted.
When asked about Melania's NFT on Fox, Donald said, "She's gonna do great. She’s got a great imagination." But he remained steadfast in his skepticism about crypto. “It’ll make the big tech explosion look like baby stuff. I think it’s a very dangerous thing."
Last week, Vice found—and verified through an "independent researcher" using the pseudonym zachxbt—that Melania Trump's NFT collection was purchased by Melania Trump herself, or at a minimum, by the people who set up her auction in the first place.
The auction winner's address was loaded with the requisite funds by an address which, in turn, was funded by the address that created Melania's NFT.
The Office of Melania Trump, according to Vice, "did not respond to follow-up questions regarding the identity of the alleged mystery buyer, how the transaction was conducted, if it was conducted in USD, and how much USD the buyer ultimately paid."
Eric vs. TrumpCoin
Last month, Donald’s son Eric took to Twitter on behalf of his family to warn his followers about a meme cryptocurrency called TrumpCoin, which he labeled a “fraud.” (The coin actually launched six years ago.)
“Fraud Alert: It has come to our attention that someone is promoting a cryptocurrency called “TrumpCoin (Symbol: “TRUMP.”) This has NOTHING to do with our family, we do not authorize the use and we are no way affiliated with this group. Legal action will be taken,” Eric wrote.
TrumpCoin isn't listed at CoinMarketCap or CoinGecko. Coinbase, which displays its price data but does not support trading of the coin, shows its market cap at $341,000, with more than 6 million in circulation.
Following Eric’s tweet, the self-described “#1 Patriot Cryptocurrency” took to Twitter with a statement, claiming that the coin never was affiliated with the Trump family.
“No, Trumpcoin.com is not owned, operated, endorsed by, or otherwise affiliated with Donald J. Trump, The Trump Organization, Donald J. Trump for President Inc., or any other organization owned and/or operated by Donald J. Trump or any of his affiliates,” the tweet read.
That Twitter account has since been deleted. But conservatives looking for meme coins have other options.