Melania Trump has refuted the claims of an investigation that revealed that the winning bid in her NFT auction could be traced back to the project’s creators. Investigations have revealed that the cryptocurrency used to purchase the NFT came from a wallet belonging to the same entity that had listed the token for sale.
Melania Trump’s Failed NFT Auction
Back in December, the former First Lady had announced the launch of her NFT platform and listed a lineup of NFTs on the newly launched website. In January, Mrs. Trump announced the “Head of State Collection 2022,” which included the wide-brimmed white hat worn by her during the 2018 visit with French President Emanuel Macron, along with an NFT and a watercolor rendition of her. The entire piece was packaged together and listed at 1,800 SOL (around $250,000 at the time of listing).
However, the timing proved to be unfortunate as the auction coincided with the 2022 crypto market dip. Only five bids were made. The winning bid of 1800 SOL amounted to only $162,144 at the end of the auction since the value of SOL had dropped by 40%. Soon after, her website published the bid history, which included the wallet address of the winning bid.
Crypto Sleuth Decodes Convoluted Transaction Chain
Crypto analyst company Motherboard reviewed the Solana blockchain records and the bid history published on the website and shared the results with pseudonymous independent blockchain sleuth “zachxbt.” In a series of tweets, the latter revealed that the funds used to buy the NFT can be traced back to the same wallet address that created the NFT collection. To sum up their tweets, the winner of the NFT received the funds from the creator of the NFT itself, and the funds were returned to an address linked to the NFT creator.
Trump Denies Claims, Refuses Clarification
Responding to these investigations, the office of the former First Lady stated,
“The nature of Blockchain protocol is entirely transparent. Accordingly, the public can view each transaction on the blockchain. The transaction was facilitated on behalf of a third-party buyer.”
Experts are, however, questioning this claim, citing several discrepancies. The bizarre chain of transactions involving multiple wallets raises many questions. The most significant of these is – why did the creators of a public crypto auction facilitate the winning bid, which turned out to be the exact minimum amount?
However, the former First Lady’s office refused to reveal who the actual buyer of the NFT was. Furthermore, they have also not disclosed why the complicated transaction chain was set up and why the NFT creator seemingly got the funds back.
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