When Donald Trump was arrested in Georgia on racketeering charges last year, his mugshot was plastered on newspaper front pages around the world and immediately became one of the most iconic photographs of any US president.
Since then, the image has inspired memes and parodies, been printed on merchandise by Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign, and now, immortalized in NFT form as the latest “mugshot edition” of digital trading cards bearing the former president’s likeness. Buyers who acquire 47 NFT will also receive a physical card containing fabric from Trump’s mugshot suit. Those who buy 100 also get one of 200 Trump NFTs minted as Bitcoin Ordinals.
Proponents of inscribing NFT data on Bitcoin often tout the blockchain’s expected longevity as one of the main advantages of Ordinals. Even if Magic Eden, the platform responsible for minting the new Trump Ordinals, ceases all operations, as long as Bitcoin exists, the satoshis on which they are inscribed will endure.
Because Bitcoin wasn’t designed to handle data-heavy NFT transactions, minting and transferring Ordinals is expensive when compared to other formats. Like previous editions of Trump NFTs, the main mugshot collection follows a more economically efficient model, with each one minted as an ERC-1155 token on Polygon.
At $99 a piece, the 100 digital trading cards needed to secure a Trump Ordinals NFT will set collectors back nearly $10,000. But despite the hefty price tag, over half the collection had been claimed within hours of going on sale.
Although the company behind the digital trading cards, NFT INC, states that it “is not owned, managed or controlled” by Donald Trump or the Trump Organization, the former president’s endorsement isn’t cheap.
Revenue from the new collection will be channeled to the presidential hopeful’s bank account through a licensing deal with the Trump-owned CIC Digital. After a previous series of 45,000 NFTs sold out in less than a day, a financial disclosure statement provided as a requirement of his bid for office shows that Trump generated between $100,000 and $1 million of income from the sales.
In addition to the original sales revenue, the creator of Trump’s NFTs also earns a 10% royalty fee from onward sales on OpenSea. According to CoinGecko, the current floor price for Trump digital trading cards is 0.29 ETH, or around $720.
The original collection’s daily trading volume peaked at over 200,000 ETH in February 2023. But the mugshot edition of 100,000 NFTs is non-transferable until the end of 2024.