What investment do a pop star and former first lady of the United States have in common? If your guess was non-fungible tokens (NFTs), you’re on the money.
Melania Trump has launched an NFT and blockchain technology venture, joining a growing list of celebrities offering digital memorabilia to tap into the recent frenzy.
The first NFT, named "Melania's Vision", is a watercolour art by artist Marc-Antoine Coulon, and "embodies Melania's cobalt-blue eyes", according to a statement issued by Trump's office.
It will be available to purchase between now and December 31 this year.
A portion of the proceeds from the Melania Trump NFTs, which will be released in regular intervals, will support children ageing out of the foster care system.
"Through this new technology-based platform, we will provide children computer science skills, including programming and software development, to thrive after they age out of the foster community," Trump said.
Justin Bieber has also jumped in on the trend, announcing his NFT venture over Instagram.
“Copped my first NFT’s, let’s see what we can do as a community,” the pop star said.
The artist who created the NFTs, Gianpiero, has helped design Bieber’s clothing brand Drew House as well as Bieber’s Changes album merchandise.
“I really like designing objects that bring back my childhood. One of these is the bear that has always accompanied me in my growth. When I was little, I liked to hug my bear to feel safe and happy.”
Gianpiero said the project aims to help people not feel alone and gain comfort from his images.
What is an NFT?
They are bought and sold online, frequently with cryptocurrency, and are generally encoded with the same underlying software as many cryptos.
The main difference between NFTs and cryptoassets - as we currently know them - is that the latter allow fungible trading. For example, Bitcoin can be exchanged for another Bitcoin, because one Bitcoin is always worth the same as another Bitcoin.