Web3 Watch: The Trump token that wasn’t

Plus, Polygon pops off and CryptoPunks fall


Former President Donald Trump | Nicole Glass Photography/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


There are some weeks where months happen. 

On Monday, the tech, politics and culture outlet Pirate Wires wrote on X that “Trump is launching an official token” with the ticker DJT, and that the project was being spearheaded by Donald Trump’s youngest son, Barron. 

Pirate Wires’ editor-in-chief pasted the Solana contract address below the post, and crypto venture capitalist Joe McCann also took to social media to say he’d heard rumors of the Trump token in now-deleted posts.

Neither Barron nor anyone from the Trump camp came forward to claim the token. The online mood surrounding so-called TrumpCoin was decidedly skeptical — as the token’s ownership appeared to be heavily concentrated among anonymous insiders. That didn’t stop the token’s price from briefly pumping, however. 

Read more: Empire Newsletter: DJT and Kraken bring the drama

Among those insisting the Trump token was real was Martin Shkreli, who served prison time for fraud he committed as a pharmaceutical executive. He has more recently become involved in the crypto space.

The well-known anonymous online trader @GiganticRebirth came out of a posting hiatus and challenged Shkreli to a $100 million bet on the token’s veracity, with funds to be escrowed by Jordan Fish, aka @cobie. 

Shortly after, Arkham Intelligence offered a $150,000 bounty for whoever could prove who was behind DJT. 

On Wednesday, Arkham announced that onchain sleuth ZachXBT had won the bounty after proving that “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli was the token’s creator.

Read more: Helpful hackers net more than $640k in 1 year with crypto bug bounties

Shkreli then admitted he was behind the token and hosted multiple X spaces insisting Barron Trump asked him to launch it. 

Barron and the Trump campaign still have yet to say anything publicly about DJT. 

On an unrelated note, Shkreli was sued by PleasrDAO last week after playing songs from an unreleased Wu-Tang Clan album he sold to the DAO.

Polygon CDK pops up in gaming, AI verification

Polygon’s chain development kit (CDK) was popular in Web3 this week. 

Fox Corp announced TIME would become the inaugural publishing partner for its Verify protocol — which is built on Polygon PoS. 

Verify aims to use cryptography to let publishers verify and license content. It’s a play to help combat things like deepfakes in the age of AI

But in the future, Fox said that it would be moving Verify from Polygon PoS to an independent zero-knowledge blockchain using Polygon’s CDK.

The Web3 gaming blockchain network Ronin also announced it would be letting zkEVM chains be launched on the network using Polygon’s CDK. 

Ronin was created by the company Sky Mavis, which also launched the popular play-to-earn game Axie Infinity. 

One interesting stat:

  • The lowest price at which a CryptoPunk is listed has fallen 31% over the past 30 days to roughly $87,000, according to NFT Price Floor. 

Also of note:

  • Doodles said it will move its Stoodio platform from Flow to Base.
  • The popular Web3 game Pixels announced its chapter two.

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