Melania Trump hat auction controversy 1:21
The lot of three items that former first lady Melania Trump put up for auction earlier this month fell short of the desired $250,000 dollar threshold for an initial bid.
When the auction of the three items -- a custom wide-brimmed white hat worn by Trump during an official state visit to the White House, a watercolor painting of Trump wearing the hat, and a non-expendable token (NFT) from the animated illustration -- ended this Wednesday night, there were apparently only five bids in total for the auction items, each around the minimum requirement of 1,800 Solana tokens, the cryptocurrency selected by Trump as the only form of payment for interested buyers .
While Solana's minimum ticket requirement was met, the $250,000 threshold was not reached because for the last two weeks, almost the entire auction, the crypto market took a massive dive, with values of several coins falling. 20, 30 or even 40%, as was the case with Solana.
As a result of a lack of interest in Trump items, an inflated opening offer and a plummeting market, the "Head of State Collection," as Trump called his lot, appears to have sold for around $170,000, US$80,000 lower than anticipated in the opening offer.
CNN has contacted Trump's spokesman for comment on the auction.
Then-First Lady Melania Trump waits with then-President Donald Trump to greet French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron during an Arrival of State ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in 2018. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster )
The lowest price and the handful of offers are an example of the fluctuating world of cryptocurrencies, which can be extremely lucrative but ultimately depends on the whim of an unregulated market.
Bitcoin, perhaps the most recognized cryptocurrency, fell more than 20% during this month's crypto slump, indicating that even established forms of currency are subject to volatility.
Trump's foray into NFT sales began in December when the former first lady announced she would sell a digital artwork depicting her eyes for $150 each.
As with the last auction, Trump's website claims that a portion of the proceeds from the sale will go to a charity to help foster children.
Numerous requests from CNN to Trump's office asking for clarity on the exact portion have gone unanswered.