Donald Trump is seemingly now in the cryptocurrency game after he was gifted 500 billion “Let’s Go [Brandon]” tokens by a blundering Trumpworld crypto investor.
One might think an association with the former president would boost the meme coin’s value. But instead, the opposite has occurred.
Between noon Wednesday—the day the interview was posted—and early Friday afternoon, the crypto token’s value had fallen nearly 19 percent.
Trump’s coins are already worth about $10,000 less, now down to $45,000—a minuscule $0.00000009 apiece—though their value could rise dramatically if they take off the way other meme coins have.
Trump’s post-presidential office didn’t immediately return The Daily Beast’s request for comment. It’s not yet clear whether he has actually taken ownership of the tokens.
The gift was made by the coin’s most vocal backer, hedge funder and diehard Trump supporter James Koutoulas, which he presented via a podcast hosted by D-list Trumpworld personality David J. Harris. (According to Koutoulas, Harris is also a backer of the coin.)
“Sounds good to me!” Trump said of the gift. “I don’t know exactly what it means, but it sounds good to me.”
According to Harris’ description, the coin’s backers intend to use the tokens to support the “Freedom Truckers” who have repeatedly tried and failed to form a convoy in the Washington, D.C. area, and the “firemen, police, nurses, doctors” who have been laid off because of vaccine mandates, which have since largely been loosened.
“I’ll tell you what, those groups are the right groups to support… They’re great. They’re great patriots, great people,” Trump said.
Koutoulas told The Daily Beast on Friday afternoon that he had yet to hear from Trump, while on Twitter he wrote that he was “deeply honored” Harris had hawked the coin.
It’s not clear how a meme coin will accomplish the objectives outlined on the podcast, not to mention that the previous iteration of the cryptocurrency was an absolute disaster.
As The Daily Beast reported in February, the initial token took its inspiration from the “Let’s Go Brandon” slogan that emerged after a NASCAR race last year. At the time, the crowd had loudly chanted “Fuck Joe Biden” following the victory of driver Brandon Brown.
While interviewing Brown, however, an NBC reporter incorrectly relayed the chant as “Let’s Go Brandon.”
The slogan quickly took hold among Biden opponents, many of whom seized on the moment as an example of media censorship.
The crypto token launched soon after, and its market value soared to a peak of more than $500 million; it even briefly looked like the token might land an official NASCAR sponsorship deal. Those plans fell apart, and the coin plummeted 99.5 percent from its high.
Amid the collapse, several of the token’s investors and organizers began to feud. Koutoulas prepared to file a lawsuit claiming that some of those individuals had helped fuel the decline by selling off large volumes of their holdings.
On the contrary, one of those people told The Daily Beast that the coin’s other backers had grown tired of Koutoulas’ aggressive political advocacy and that they had splintered off as a result. “Guys hanging out in Puerto Rico don’t want to antagonize the government. It’s the opposite,” the person said of crypto investors who live there.
In the end, some of the parties reached a ceasefire.
In an agreement hashed out in February in part by Koutoulas, media executive James Heckman, and representatives of Brown, they agreed to band together to launch a new version of the coin—the one President Trump was gifted.
It seems things have remained political after all. “People can’t stop me from using my political speech,” Koutoulas said.