By Annabelle Liang
Former US President Donald Trump has launched a collection of digital trading cards depicting him in various guises including a superhero, astronaut and Nascar driver.
Mr Trump said: “These limited edition cards feature amazing ART of my Life & Career!”
Last month, the billionaire launched his third bid for the White House.
He triggered speculation this week after saying he would make a “major announcement”.
Some commentators had expected him to potentially name a running mate for his presidential campaign.
Instead, Mr Trump posted a promotional video on his social media platform, Truth Social.
The clip featured an animated version of the former president in front of the Trump Tower in New York, who rips open his shirt to reveal a superhero costume emblazoned with the letter T as lasers shoot from his eyes.
Later on Truth Social Mr Trump said the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) were “very much like a baseball card, but hopefully much more exciting”.
He added that the cards, costing $99 (£81) each, “would make a great Christmas gift”.
Buyers will also be entered into a sweepstake, with the chance of winning prizes including a gala dinner or a game of golf with Mr Trump.
NFTs have been touted as the digital answer to collectables, but critics have warned about risks in the market.
The “one-of-a-kind” assets in the digital world can be bought and sold like any other piece of property, but have no tangible form of their own.
They can be thought of as certificates of ownership for virtual or physical assets.
The announcement has been criticised by social media users, with high-profile Republicans also speaking out.
“I can’t do this anymore,” Steve Bannon, a right-wing media commentator and former chief strategist for Mr Trump, said about the NFTs on his podcast.
Anyone involved in the project “ought to be fired today,” he added.
In an apparent jibe at Mr Trump, US President Joe Biden said on Twitter that he had “some MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENTS the last couple of weeks too”.
He said this included easing inflation and signing a marriage protection bill.
Others speculated that sale of NFTs was to help fund the legal battles that Mr Trump is embroiled in.
The funds would not be put towards his presidential campaign, according to the website for the NFTs.
“These Digital Trading Cards are not political and have nothing to do with any political campaign,” it said.
“NFT INT LLC is not owned, managed or controlled by Donald J. Trump, The Trump Organization, CIC Digital LLC or any of their respective principals or affiliates,” it added.
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