The entire DJT token drama in one article

Crypto Twitter has been consumed by a messy affair involving Barron Trump, the Trump family, a Peter Thiel-associated blog, Martin Shkreli, Arkham Intelligence, and numerous others over the past few days. Here’s a summary.


Pirate Wires, a ‘new new media’ outlet tied to Peter Thiel put out a tweet saying “per conversations,” Barron Trump would spearhead an official Donald Trump token. The news was met with equal parts skepticism and speculation, mostly because the only proof given was a lazily added contract address thrown in by Pirate Wires head, Michael Solana.

Considering the low liquidity of the coin at that time, the dropping of the contract address only increased the doubt about who was behind it.

But Martin Shkreli quickly inserted himself into the drama by tweeting out that a specific X (formerly Twitter) account “looks like the official account.” This was also presented without proof.

Next, Shkreli created a Space called ‘$DJT is real,’ again claiming that the token was an official Trump coin being launched by Barron Trump. No evidence was provided.

Mask begins to slip

A little while later, numerous large influencer accounts began to spread the news that the DJT token was indeed real.

Shortly thereafter, Shkreli and Bo Loudon — one of Barron Trump’s best friends — joined yet another Space where Loudon stated, “Barron [Trump] is confirmed partially behind this.” He quickly backtracked and corrected himself, stating, “It’s a rumor that Barron is partially involved… I heard that through another friend.”

Louden then deleted a tweet that he put out claiming, “$DJT IS THE ONLY REAL TRUMP TOKEN.”

As public sentiment began to slip for the coin, Shkreli started to take on a more front-and-center role, tweeting that a Polymarket prediction market offering a bet about Trump’s involvement with DJT “as defined, [has a] literally 100% chance” of resolving ‘Yes.’

Soon, DJT was almost exclusively what Shkreli was tweeting and talking about.

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Bet me, bro

Not long after taking such public stances about the involvement of Donald J. Trump and Barron Trump in the DJT token, Shkreli put out an offer to bet anyone with size about the meme coin. Alex Wice, a cryptocurrency investor, was willing to bet $1 million. Shkreli said “You’re on, how high can you go?”

But before that bet could be publicly confirmed, a much larger player jumped into the fold: a pseudonymous crypto account going by ‘GiganticRebirth’ offered to bet $100 million with Shkreli that Donald Trump had nothing to do with the coin. Shkreli agreed to the bet, replying with “done your way.”

However, despite bringing in well-known cryptocurrency figures like Jordan Fish (@cobie on X), GiganticRebirth and Shkreli couldn’t agree to terms. No money was ever escrowed, no bets were officially made, and no one ended up losing or winning anything.

Talk, talk, talk, it’s only talk

This didn’t stop Shkreli from taking victory laps, claiming that he’d won the bet and that GiganticRebirth had backed out. But as he celebrated his faux-win, Arkham Intelligence — a cryptocurrency company that specializes in tracking and identifying wallets and addresses on blockchains — offered a $150,000 bounty to anyone who could determine who had created the DJT token.

In under two hours, on-chain sleuth and investigator ZachXBT put forward a claim on the bounty. This appeared to spook Shkreli.

In DMs released by ZachXBT and a timeline confirming as much, Shkreli panicked and directly messaged ZachXBT to tell him he was involved with DJT, then started a Space and admitted to his involvement and his creation of the token for the first time publicly.

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The beginning of the end

After not collecting $100 million, being exposed as the creator of the token in the most embarrassing way possible, and never getting a confirmation of Barron or Donald Trump’s involvement, Shkreli once again took to X, spending nearly half a day in numerous Spaces, desperately trying to convince anyone who would listen that he had worked directly with Barron Trump to create the token.

If Shkreli is to be believed, his story goes like this:

Shkreli was working with a 17-year-old minor named Cameron who was in contact with Bo Louden and Barron Trump. Supposedly, Cameron had reached out to Barron and heard that he was interested in launching a meme coin before his brother, Donald Trump, Jr. They asked for Shkreli’s help.

Using Chat-GPT and talking about how to create good financial incentives and mechanics with numerous influencers in the crypto space, Shkreli coded the coin and Barron Trump launched it.

The coin laid silent for a while as the three individuals associated with it attempted to get numerous funds and investors to put money into the project. Shkreli states that it was very difficult to get anyone to commit, but also stated that Barron Trump told him that Donald Trump supported the concept.

Shkreli insists that he had little financial reason to be involved, hardly purchased any of the coin, didn’t take advantage of the 17 or 18-year-olds, and absolutely had hoped that his involvement would not be exposed.

While much of this could very well be true, it’s difficult to believe that Shkreli never wanted anyone to uncover his involvement, seeing how adamant he was that the token was real from the jump and how he repeatedly hinted that he’d spoken to those who would know.

Shkreli claims that Barron Trump is the one who leaked the information to Pirate Wires, though he also states that the information was leaked sooner than they’d hoped and that the project wasn’t ready for launch yet.

By the end of the day yesterday, Shkreli seemed less sure of a public assurance by Barron Trump that he was involved and very hesitant to claim Donald Trump will ever speak about the coin at all.

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