It's been a while since I've written about the former president of the US, Donald J Trump, but he's recently announced his candidacy for the 2024 presidential elections, likely in an attempt to shield himself from potential legal consequences of investigations into his involvement with the January 6th insurrection, and the Mar-a-Lago classified and top-secret documents case (and likely many other crimes). After his announcement he went quiet for a time, not actually performing any campaign activities, but late last week he hinted at an announcement, which some suspected would be a major political move such as announcing his running mate. With bated breath I waited, and it was finally revealed that he was releasing a set of collectable cards, in the form of NFTs (which Mark's written on extensively in the past - spoiler alert, they're pretty much a scam!), featuring questionable art of his career and presidency. Priced at $99 (USD) he claimed they'd sell out quickly. But, there's no accounting for taste, and despite the images being tacky and unrealistic, all 44,000 NFTs listed sold out within a day, raising him around $4.4 million dollars. There are plenty of Americans who still hold Trump in high regards, so I guess they're the target market. There's been speculation online about what happens to the money, and whether it might be a money-laundering scheme to be able to receive payments from foreign interests in exchange for classified documents supplied to them. I'm doubtful of this - the limit for purchase 100 at a time, and this would make it difficult to use the scheme to make large payments. Still, the companies associated with the cards have pretty murky backgrounds, which is to be expected given Trump's previous track record. The NFTs are now being listed on exchanges at prices significantly higher than their issue price. Economics 101 - Supply and Demand. But it's not a free market to sell the cards - there's fine print in the terms and conditions when means that any on-sale of the cards attracts a 10% payment back to Trump's coffers. What one would do with the ownership of one of these dubious pieces of art is beyond me though! Wait to find a greater fool? Interestingly, even prominent staunch republicans are voicing their distaste at this tacky venture. I hope I've not breached copyright by including the images in this newsletter. But feel free to print them off yourself, and save yourself more than $99 per image! Don't tell me the NZ Skeptics Newsletter doesn't help you out. If you need a quick refresher on what NFTs (Non-fungible tokens) are all about, check out this excellent explainer video:

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