Former First Lady Melania Trump is hoping to go, as they say in the crypto community, to the moon. Despite crashes that have hit the crypto and NFT market hard in recent months, Melania Trump announced the launch of a new “limited-edition digital collectible” on Tuesday. Her new NFT, “Man on the Moon,” is being marketed as a celebration of the moon landing, which occurred 54 years ago this week.
“I am proud to celebrate the great achievement of these astronauts and remain inspired by American ingenuity,” she said in a statement announcing the NFT.
The “digital collectible,” which is in a limited edition of 500 and is being sold for $75 each, features an image of an American astronaut and the iconic quote Neil Armstrong’s uttered as he took the first steps on the surface of the moon: “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
This NFT is not Melania Trump’s first leap into the crypto space. She previously launched a digital collectible in January 2022, near the height of the NFT craze, which saw prices for some of the images soar to seven and even eight figures. Melania Trump’s initial NFT did not necessarily catch fire. Experts believe the image, which was a portrait of Trump, was actually purchased by the former first lady or whoever set up the sale after not finding another buyer.
In the roughly year-and-a-half since Melania Trump’s first NFT launch, the market for the digital images has crashed along with the price of cryptocurrency. According to the crypto site Coindesk, some measures show that NFT values hit their lowest point in two years earlier this month. Some experts attribute the crash to a lack of demand and interest from the general public following the initial burst of attention that swirled around NFTs.
Despite the crashes, Melania Trump and her husband, former President Donald Trump, have experienced some success with NFTs. In December 2022, President Trump launched a “collection” of $99 NFT trading cards that featured images of him in various settings and costumes including dressed as a superhero and a cowboy. Amid ridicule from critics and even some supporters, those cards and a second similar series purportedly sold out.
Melania Trump’s “Man on the Moon” NFT is being launched and sold via “USA Memorabilia,” a website that is billed as “a premiere platform featuring United States memorabilia.” USA Memorabilia, which seems to solely sell NFTs, did not immediately respond to questions about its ownership. The company uses Solana, a cryptocurrency that has recently received scrutiny from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Melania Trump’s first NFT also utilized Solana, as did a second offering she made with “USA Memorabilia” in February 2022. That NFT, which was dubbed the “POTUS TRUMP NFT Collection,” featured 10,000 limited edition images of the Trump presidency with backgrounds of stars, gold, and silver. According to a press release for that collection, the former first lady provided “creative direction” on the NFTs, which were also launched and sold by “USA Memorabilia.” While hundreds of pieces of the “POTUS TRUMP NFT Collection” have purportedly been sold, as of this writing, there is still substantial inventory available on the site.
Marketing materials for the 2022 “POTUS TRUMP NFT Collection” indicated it was “available” through USA Memorabilia and “powered by Parler,” a right wing social media platform that was backed in part by megadonor Rebekah Mercer. Melania Trump’s latest partnership with USA Memorabilia includes no mention of Parler, which was sold to a new owner and taken offline in April.
The former first lady did not respond to requests for comment about whether she has any concerns about her latest launch in light of the plummeting NFT values. As of this writing, Melania Trump’s “Man on the Moon” NFT was made available about two-and-a-half hours ago and, since then, seven of the 500 collectibles have been sold.