On Thursday, after teasing a massive announcement the day before, former President Donald Trump unveiled a series of $99 "trading card" nonfungible tokens, or NFTs — images of himself backed by cryptocurrency technology.
The announcement was widely mocked — however, one slightly less discussed detail is the nature of the company making the cards.
It isn't Trump's campaign, nor is it the Trump Organization. Rather, it is a mysterious entity known as CIC Ventures, which, according to Ken Bensington of The New York Times, has a lot of overlap with Trump.
"The company that licensed Trump's image and likeness for the $99 NFT trading cards appears to be one founded in 2021 by former Trump advisor Nick Luna and current Trump lawyer John Marion," wrote Bensington on Twitter. "Its mailing address is the same as the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach."
"Little is known about CIC, but a little digging shows that a manila folder seized from Mar-a-Lago by the FBI in August was marked 'Serio Contract' and contained a contract with CIC Ventures and Gold Ventures, per a federal court filing," Bensington continued.
Even some Trump supporters grumbled about the NFT announcement, complaining that the cards on offer were "worthless" and a "scam."
This comes as Trump has suffered setbacks with his 2024 campaign launch, with some polls indicating he is losing the lead among the Republican base to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — which Trump took to his Truth Social platform to rail against this week.