Despite widespread mockery for a “major announcement” from former U.S. president Donald Trump that turned out to be the launch of an official NFT collection, Trump Digital Trading Cards have nonetheless captured the attention of traders.
The collection spiked in trading volume after it launched on Thursday, to 5,548 ETH or over $6.5 million as of Sunday morning, according to OpenSea. The project currently sits on OpenSea’s homepage as the top-trending project.
However, the price of Trump Digital Trading Cards has been turbulent over the past day. The project’s floor price peaked around 0.84 ETH or around $990 on Saturday before plunging as low as 0.32 ETH or roughly $376 by early Sunday morning.
The price of the cheapest Trump-branded NFT has since rebounded slightly, rising to 0.490 ETH or around $577, on OpenSea as of this writing.
The digital collectables crept into the cultural spotlight Saturday night as the subject of satire on the late-night comedy show Saturday Night Live. Last night’s episode opened with a skit from comedian James Austin Johnson, who mimicked the former president’s announcement unveiling the digital collectibles.
“It seems like a scam – and in many ways it is – but we love the Trump cards,” Johnson’s depiction of Trump said, referring to NFTs by their “technical term” as “Nifties.”
Johnson referenced ongoing investigations that surround Trump, such as his alleged mishandling of classified information, during the comedian’s satiric promotion of the digital collectables.
“The best part is, each card comes with an automatic chance to win an exclusive mystery prize where you get to pick anything out of this nice box,” he said, holding up a box filled with papers labeled “CLASSIFIED.”
The show also poked fun at the substance of NFTs from the collection, which Trump has described as depicting “scenes pertaining to [his] life,” such as him in a spacesuit, camouflage hunting gear, and a cowboy duster.
“Remember, when you buy a card, you don’t get to pick which one you’ll get; it might be me on the cover of a romance novel, or me doing splits, me doing Titanic, or even me as Jessica Rabbit,” Johnson said.
Later in the show during Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, comedians Colin Jost and Michael Che tore into the project as well. Jost pointed out the unusual timing of the NFT collection’s launch.
“It’s such a funny move to get into NFTs after the whole market just crashed,” he said. “It’s like getting into Kanye now, which Trump also kind of did.”
Trump Digital Trading Cards have also been the subject of humor on other late-night television shows, such as Late Night with Seth Meyers, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and The Late Night Show with Stephen Colbert.
“The ex-president of the United States, the ex-most powerful man in the world, has launched a line of trading cards,” Colbert said on his show the day Trump’s project was revealed. “This is the least-dignified attempt at post-presidential merchandising since the launch of Tickle-me-Truman.”
The collection of NFTs is composed of 45,000 individual collectables and was originally priced at $99-apiece, but individual NFTs have sold for considerably more since they sold out in less than a day after they launched.
A 1-of-1 NFT from the collection sold for an eye-popping 37 ETH or around $43,600 on Saturday, according to polygonscan. The NFT featured a monotone image of Trump in a tuxedo posing in front of a flight of stairs, accompanied by a signature of the former president.
The project’s fine print states that 10% of secondary sales on Trump Digital Trading Cards will be directed to NFT International, the company that purchased the right to use Trump’s likeness for the project, according to CollectTrumpCards.com.
Skeptics of the project on Reddit have warned those interested in buying one of the project’s collectables to “STAY AWAY,” alleging that 1,000—or about 2%—of the digital trading cards are held by one wallet, which appeared to be receiving royalties. This suggests a significant number of items were still held by the project’s creators, and that they could theoretically tank the project’s value if all the NFTs were sold at once.
Some users on Twitter have also honed in on visual elements used NFTs that belong to Trump’s collection, finding watermarks from stock images. One user pointed out that an NFT of Trump in a flight suit has remnants of a watermark from a Shutterstock photo and another one has part of a watermark for stock photos from Adobe.