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Melania Trump's latest post-White House project just got caught up in the ebbs and flows of the novel cryptocurrency market.
When the former first lady, 51, announced an online auction — partially to benefit charity — for a package that included a white, wide-brimmed hat she wore at the White House during a 2018 visit by the French president Emanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte, the only accepted form of payment was the SOL, a cryptocurrency on the Solana platform.
Trump's "Head of State Collection," announced on Jan. 4, included the "iconic white millinery masterpiece" designed by French American designer Hervé Pierre, an original watercolor on paper by Marc-Antoine Coulon of Trump in the hat and an exclusive digital artwork NFT with motion (also of the former first lady in the hat), according to a press release on the sale.
The two-week-long, online-only auction had an opening bid equivalent to $250,000, her office said. At the time of the announcement, the value of a SOL was around $170.
But on the final day of the auction, which was Tuesday, the value had dropped as low as $93.
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According to the auction page on Trump's website, the highest bid was 1,800 SOLs or $177,930, lower than the opening bid she had touted in the press release. Earlier this month, 1,800 SOLs would have been worth much more.
Solana's auction page shows five successful bids for the "Head of State Collection."
A spokeswoman for Trump tells PEOPLE: "There was a high level of interest surrounding the Head of State Collection, particularly from collectors of memorabilia and fashion artifacts. Interested parties were provided details surrounding the items in conversation over the phone. The sale closed at midnight."
In announcing the auction, Trump said a portion of the proceeds would go to "individuals who have been in the foster care community with access to computer science and technology education," though she did not say how much of the earnings would go towards that cause.
The spokeswoman didn't respond to a question about the donated money.
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Cryptocurrency has plummeted since November, when values for Bitcoin, Ethereum and other tokens hit an all-time high. The crypto-crash has made as much as $1.4 trillion in value vanish globally, according to Forbes.
As The New York Times points out, if Trump holds onto the 1,800 SOLs she earned from the auction, the value could go up — or down, depending on what happens to the market.
The January auction follows Trump's announcement of a sale of NFTs, which began with a watercolor painting of the former first lady's eyes, also by the artist Coulon.