The price of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) featuring Donald Trump surged after news outlets released a photo of the former United States President as part of his criminal case in the state of Georgia for allegedly attempting to subvert the will of voters in the 2020 election.
According to data from NFT marketplace OpenSea, the floor price of Trump’s line of digital trading cards first released in December 2022 increased more than 62% from 0.138 to 0.224 Ether (ETH) on Aug. 24 shortly after the former president’s mugshot became public. The image, which shows Trump looking angrily at the camera amid his surrender at the Georgia Sheriff’s Office in Fulton County, has gone viral as the first mugshot of a current or former U.S. President facing criminal cases.
Trump, who has largely restricted his social media activity to his own Truth Social platform since being banned from Twitter in January 2021 — and later reinstated by X CEO Elon Musk — posted to X for the first time in more than two years with the mugshot:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2023
The criminal case against Trump in the state of Georgia alleges the former president and 18 allies were part of a racketeering scheme aimed at subverting the will of voters in an attempt to ensure he was re-elected as U.S. President in 2020, despite having lost to Joe Biden. The indictment was made public on Aug. 14 and prosecutors ordered all involved parties to surrender to Georgia authorities before Aug. 25.
Trump appeared on Aug. 24 and was released on a $200,000 bond. However, he still faces federal charges in the District of Columbia for attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential Election by allegedly being part of a scheme involving fake electors. He has also been indicted in a classified documents case brought by the Justice Department and a New York criminal case for allegedly falsifying business records related to a hush money payment for porn star Stormy Daniels.
Crypto and blockchain have been on the lips of many politicians in recent elections and while in office. Trump said on Twitter in 2019 that he was “not a fan” of Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies, claiming they were “based on thin air”. However, the nonprofit organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics revealed in August that Trump held more than $2.8 million in an Ethereum wallet.
During his time in office, President Biden has signed an executive order aimed at establishing a regulatory framework for digital assets, but has also been criticized by many lawmakers and those in the space. With the Trump mugshot now public, many crypto users on X have wasted no time adding the laser eyes to his image or otherwise manipulating it for a variety of memes:
— Blade McG IV (SCM) (@Blade___McG) August 25, 2023
Though Trump is currently the frontrunner for the Republican Party nomination for the 2024 Presidential Election by a wide margin, he did not appear alongside other candidates in the first party debate on Aug. 23. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — who, according to many polls, is the leading Republican presidential candidate behind Trump — has promised to ban central bank digital currencies if elected. Vivek Ramaswamy, who received a lot of online attention due to his debate performance, previously spoke at the Bitcoin 2023 conference in Miami and referred to the 2024 election as a “referendum on fiat currency.”