It was a weird night yesterday as politics, cryptocurrencies, and digital collectibles were the most important topics of discussion by former US President and running presidential candidate Donald Trump, who held an exclusive dinner party for holders of his recent non-fungible token (NFT) collection.

The Mar-a-Lago event provided a window into Trump’s evolving views about the crypto space as he continues to prepare for a potential 2024 White House run.

Trump used this intimate gathering to criticize the Biden administration’s approach regarding digital assets and promote his own crypto-friendly vision if elected.

His comments sent shockwaves across the crypto market and managed to prompt a rally in the price of the most popular politically-themed meme coins, which have emerged as parodies of the prevailing state of the US political scene.

Trump Pledges to Embrace Innovation and Blasts Democrats for Being Against Crypto

The event on Wednesday represented the closest interactions that Trump has had with the crypto and NFT community after he has been increasingly involved with the space in recent months. His answers to certain questions and overall speech made clear that he aims to fully embrace the emerging multi-billion-dollar digital asset industry if he manages to make it back to power.

“Crypto is moving out of the US due to hostility against it,” Trump declared to the assembled crowd of NFT holders, referring to the growing list of crypto firms migrating overseas amid America’s restrictive regulatory environment. “We will stop this because I don’t want it – if we are going to embrace it, we should allow them to be here.”

The former president’s remarks were clearly intended to draw a line that separates his views from the existing policies adopted by his rival, President Joe Biden, and senior officials like US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler. He also bluntly accused Democrats of crippling innovation.

“(Gary) Gensler is very against it, the Democrats are very against it, but it’s no problem for me.” Trump stated. “I’m fine with it, I want to make sure it’s good and solid and everything else, but I’m good with it.”

Throughout the evening, Trump made clear that he opposes the government’s “hostility towards crypto”. This is a rhetoric that he seems to believe will resonate positively with younger and tech-savvy voters in 2024 who have been dissatisfied with how the federal government has been cracking down on the crypto industry.

“If you ask Biden if he’s for or against crypto, he’ll ask you, ‘What’s that?’ If you’re in favour of crypto, you better vote for Trump.”, Trump emphasized.

TREMP and BODEN Meme Coins Surge on Trump’s Remarks

doland tremp crypto meme coin rallies on trump's remarks

Trump’s honeymoon with cryptocurrencies seems to have catalyzed a speculative frenzy around various Trump and Biden-themed meme coins across multiple blockchains.

Within hours after reports surfaced about Trump’s pro-crypto comments, the price of Doland Tremp (TREMP) – a Solana token depicting a cartoon character similar to Trump – doubled from $0.24 to $0.67 before settling around $0.59 – a 146% gain.

Meanwhile, another token that caricatures President Biden and nicknames him as Jeo Boden (BODEN), experienced a 40% surge to $0.40. Finally, a third meme coin called MAGA (TRUMP), referencing Trump’s iconic campaign slogan, jumped 62% to $6.8 per token and has settled somewhere near the $5.6 level as of this morning.

Trump was surprised to hear that Jeo Boden’s total market capitalization had surpassed $240 million at some point and sarcastically commented: “That’s a lot of money for a token. I didn’t like this investment.”

“Fast money is observed within the meme coin sector, which has led to sector out performance over the last 7 days.” analysts from Wintermute commented, acknowledging the meme coin frenzy around Trump’s remarks.

While their long-term trajectories remain highly speculative and difficult to predict, the initial price spikes that these politically-themed tokens experienced showcase the intense fascination that crypto enthusiasts have for any asset in the space that has a relationship with Trump or another popular political figure.

Brands have been testing how they can use blockchain technology and the crypto space to market their products and services but Trump could be the first politician to ever rely on digital assets to promote a presidential campaign.

Trump Was Against Bitcoin but Now Backs Crypto – What Happened?

Trump’s pro-crypto speech at his Mar-a-Lago dinner is considered a 180-degree shift from his previous skepticism, if not outright opposition, to Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies.

“I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air,” Trump tweeted in 2019 while he was president.

However, in classic Trump fashion, he seems to have re-calibrated his perspective on digital assets as he seeks to find a path that gets him back into the Oval Office. It’s likely not a coincidence that his 180 degree flip-flop happened after he brought in tens of millions of dollars from his NFTs.

“I made NFTs hot again, that’s for sure,” Trump boasted to laughs and cheers from NFT holders who attended the Wednesday night dinner party.

The former president was referring to his own collection, the “Trump Trading Cards” that became a surprise hit when released last December after initially struggling to find an audience. Many bought them for the joke while others invested expecting them to appreciate in value because of their connection to the former president.

That NFT collection ended up generating over $4 million in sales. Elite buyers who purchased more than 100 ultra-rare “mugshot” editions of the cards managed to secure an invitation to this week’s members-only dinner.

At Mar-a-Lago, Trump rubbed shoulders with everyone from blue-collar NFT speculators to crypto billionaires like Frank DeGods, the co-founder of the DeGods NFT project.

DeGods captured several brief videos of Trump during the evening and posted them online, including the former president committing to accept cryptocurrency donations for his 2024 campaign.

“Can we donate to the Trump campaign using crypto? I believe the answer is yes,” Trump stated. “If you can’t, I’ll make sure you can,” he added.

Former President Avoids Sharing Details on Specific Approaches to Regulate Crypto

Despite Trump’s vocal support and his desire to court crypto supporters through embracing NFTs and agreeing to crypto fundraising, his views on how the space should be regulated remain an important topic of discussion.

In another exchange caught on video, DeGods’ Chief of Staff, known as Malcolm on the social media platform X, pressed Trump on how he would handle the increasing exodus of crypto companies’ who are moving out of the United States to offshore jurisdictions due to regulatory hostilities.

Trump responded that he will “stop it” but did not provide any specifics on the kind of regulation that he would push forward to address this matter. The only hint that crypto supports got from him was that his administration would push to “embrace it.”

Despite the potential that Trump could see in the space, he also cautioned that adoption must still be closely monitored to make sure that it benefits society and the country. “I want to make sure it’s good and solid and everything else,” the former president stated.

Also read: The SEC Has It Out For Crypto and It’s Finally Getting Called Out For It By Judges and Lawmakers

An approach favoring self-regulation within the crypto industry that is aligned with recommendations from groups like the Chamber of Digital Commerce may be one potential solution.

However, if Trump’s hardline policies toward areas like immigration and foreign policy during his presidency and campaign are considered an indication of how he may address other topics, a crackdown of some kind may be inevitable if he returns to the White House.

For now, Trump seems content with extracting as much support – and money – from this market as he can to support his campaign.

The lack of any substantive policy proposals leaves ample room for skepticism around how sincere Trump’s crypto rebrand truly is. For now, the jury is still out.