Former US President Donald Trump sells out NFT trading cards

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Two of the available Trump NFTs.Image source, collecttrumpcards.com
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Mr Trump said the NFTs "would make a good Christmas gift"

The website offering digital trading cards showing former US President Donald Trump in guises such as a superhero, astronaut and Nascar driver says the items have already sold out.

Mr Trump promoted the "limited-edition cards" late on Thursday, saying one could "make a great Christmas gift".

There were 45,000 of the cards, available for $99 each, according to OpenSea, which tracks such offerings.

The announcement drew criticism and mockery, including from Republicans.

"I can't do this anymore," Steve Bannon, a right-wing media commentator and former chief strategist for Mr Trump, said about the sale on his podcast.

Anyone involved in the project "ought to be fired today," he added.

Mr Trump, who launched his third bid for the White House last month, had triggered speculation this week after saying he would make a "major announcement".

Some commentators had expected him to potentially name a running mate for his presidential campaign.

Instead, the billionaire - who frequently licensed his name even before he entered the White House - posted a promotional video for the cards on his social media platform, Truth Social.

The clip featured an animated version of the former president in front of the Trump Tower in New York, who rips open his shirt to reveal a superhero costume emblazoned with the letter T as lasers shoot from his eyes.

Later on Truth Social Mr Trump said the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) were "very much like a baseball card, but hopefully much more exciting".

The "one-of-a-kind" assets in the digital world can be bought and sold like any other piece of property, but have no tangible form of their own.

They can be thought of as certificates of ownership for virtual or physical assets.

Advocates say NFTs are the digital answer to collectibles, but critics have warned about risks in the market, which emerged from the wider world of cryptocurrency. Activity in the space has dropped this year, alongside a plunge in cryptocurrencies.

A report for the US Congress this year noted that NFT sales have been used to collect credit card and other financial information, and been subject to other scams.

Move mocked

Mr Trump, who has raised millions of dollars since his defeat in the 2020 election, frequently sends out fundraising appeals including one tied to holiday wrapping paper on Friday.

Some on social media speculated that sale of NFTs was to help fund the legal battles that he is embroiled in.

The funds would not be put towards his presidential campaign, according to the website for the NFTs.

"These Digital Trading Cards are not political and have nothing to do with any political campaign," it said.

"NFT INT LLC is not owned, managed or controlled by Donald J. Trump, The Trump Organization, CIC Digital LLC or any of their respective principals or affiliates," it added.

The Trump family has explored NFT sales before. In February, Bloomberg reported that art of Melania Trump - which sold for what was then roughly $180,000 - had been purchased by a wallet tied to the creator of the image.

At the time, Ms Trump said the transaction was "facilitated on behalf of a third party buyer".

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