Martin Shkreli Says He Is Behind Trump-Linked DJT as ZachXBT, GCR Start Poking Around

The young token made waves in the crypto community over its supposed status as the “official” Trump token. Turns out one of X's biggest loudmouths was behind its issuance.

AccessTimeIconJun 19, 2024 at 8:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Jun 19, 2024 at 1:26 p.m. UTC
  • Martin Shkreli, also known as "Pharma Bro," claims he and Barron Trump created the DJT token after initially denying involvement.
  • This revelation followed a series of events, including Shkreli's $100 million bet with crypto trader GCR on the token's authenticity and blockchain sleuth ZachXBT's uncovering evidence linking Shkreli to the token.
  • Despite the drama, the Trump campaign has not officially commented on the matter as of Wednesday.

Martin “Pharma Bro” Shkreli said on Tuesday that he was behind the controversial DJT token in an X space tuned in by thousands of people, days after denying any involvement as influential accounts GiganticRebirth and ZachXBT joined in on the search for its creator.

“I have 1000 pieces of evidence I created it with Barron,” Shkreli wrote to blockchain sleuth ZachXBT in a direct message posted by the latter. He confirmed the same in his X spaces podcast shortly after.

The flavor-of-the-week token caused certain crypto enthusiasts to extensively wonder who was behind it after it went viral on Monday for its supposed links to Donald Trump and his son Barron.

Blockchain sleuths found that DJT’s Telegram channel appeared to share the same admins as a token supported by Shkreli. Shkreli denied any involvement at the time, while DJT continued to rally.

But things took a turn Tuesday night.

Anonymous and influential crypto trader GiganticRebirth, popularly known as GCR, called out Trump’s supposed involvement in the token in his first X post reply since November 2022.

He put up $100 million (not a typo) in a bet against Trump having to do anything with the project.

That bet was originally floated by Alex Wice, another influential and popular crypto trader, at a value of $1 million. Shkreli appeared to provoke industry “whales,” a colloquial term for a person with significant token holdings, in a post citing Wice’s – which drew GCR, a known Trump backer, out of the woodworks.

“The only way this is 'real,' is if Donald J Trump himself, says he launched a meme coin himself,” GCR posted. “I'm well aware there is a cabal strategy to bribe people in the Trump orbit to pretend they had something to do with this when in reality a cabal of crypto whales did a presale and allocation to KOLs.”

In a separate post, GCR claimed to have been approached about being involved in the DJT project which he declined. Shkreli denied GCR was ever approached to be a part.

Meanwhile, in the hours following GCR’s post, on-chain intelligence firm Arkham posted a $150,000 bounty that would pay out the amount to whoever unveiled the creator of the DJT token.

This drew out ZachXBT, one of the most widely followed crypto sleuth on X, to submit his findings to Arkham. Shkreli’s messages to Zach and his X spaces came subsequently afterward.

Shkreli’s now wants GCR to honor his side of the $100 million bet, having claimed that he co-created the token with Barron Trump’s supposed involvement.

As such, the Trump campaign has not responded to CoinDesk’s request for comment on the topic since Monday, and as of Wednesday, Trump has posted nothing on his TruthSocial platform mentioning a token.

Meanwhile, at least one large holder in both DJT and, Shkreli’s other project, has been profiting amid the drama.

Transactional data flagged by ZachXBT shows one large DJT holder sold nearly $830,000 worth of DJT late Tuesday. The wallet holds millions of dollars worth of SHOGGOTH tokens.

DJT tokens have taken a bit amid the drama, however, as prices are down 58% in the past 24 hours, DEXTools data shows.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


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Shaurya Malwa

Shaurya is the Deputy Managing Editor for the Data & Tokens team, focusing on decentralized finance, markets, on-chain data, and governance across all major and minor blockchains.

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