Home ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli says he created Trumpcoin with Trump’s son

‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli says he created Trumpcoin with Trump’s son


  • Martin Shkreli admitted to creating the TrumpCoin (DJT) token with Barron Trump.
  • The DJT token gained attention due to alleged links to Donald Trump and his son Barron.
  • The revelation led to a $100 million bet and significant price drop in DJT tokens.

Martin Shkreli — known as the “Pharma Bro” — admitted on Tuesday to being behind the controversial TrumpCoin (DJT) token.

According to a June 19 Coindesk report, Shkreli said during a recent X Space voice chat that he created it with Barron Trump. The admission came after days of speculation and investigative efforts by prominent figures in the crypto community.

The DJT token gained viral attention on Monday due to its alleged links to former President Donald Trump and his son Barron. Blockchain sleuths discovered similarities between the DJT token’s Telegram channel and a token supported by Shkreli.

Despite initial denials, Shkreli confirmed his involvement in a podcast and alleged direct messages with blockchain sleuth ZachXBT. ZachXBT has shared screenshots of a conversation with Shkreli whose authenticity cannot be confirmed, in which the pharma tycoon appears to write:

Between us please. […] I have over 1,000 pieces of evidence I created [DJT] with Barron.

The revelation sparked a heated exchange between Shkreli and influential crypto trader GiganticRebirth (GCR), a known Trump supporter. GCR called out Barron Trump’s supposed involvement in the token, offering a staggering $100 million bet against it.

The betting spree first started when Twitter user Alex Wice bet $1 million that DJT does not involve Trump against Shkreli. GCR also claimed:

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.

Who is Martin Shkreli?

Martin Shkreli is an American former hedge fund manager and convicted felon. He gained notoriety in 2015 when his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, acquired the rights to the life-saving antiparasitic drug Daraprim and then raised its price from $13.50 to $750 per pill. This move lead to widespread criticism and accusations of price gouging.

Prior to this controversy, Shkreli founded and managed several hedge funds and pharmaceutical companies. In 2017, he was convicted of securities fraud related to his management of these funds and sentenced to seven years in federal prison. He was released early in May 2022.

Shkreli’s actions and public persona, which included frequent use of social media to provoke and troll critics, made him a controversial figure often vilified in the media. His case sparked a national debate about prescription drug prices and the regulation of the pharmaceutical industry in the United States.

The bounty

In response to the growing controversy, on-chain intelligence firm Arkham posted a $150,000 bounty for anyone who could unveil the DJT token’s creator. The firm wrote:

F**k it, we ball. $150,000 to the first person to definitively prove the identity of the creator of $DJT. Only on Arkham Intel.

This prompted ZachXBT to submit his findings, leading to Shkreli’s admission. Shkreli now seeks to hold GCR accountable for the $100 million bet, claiming that he co-created the token with Barron Trump’s involvement.

However, the Trump campaign has not responded to requests for comment, and former President Trump has not mentioned the token on his TruthSocial social media platform. Amidst the drama, at least one large holder in both DJT and Shkreli’s other project, Shoggoth.ai, has profited.

Transactional data shows a wallet sold nearly $830,000 worth of DJT late Tuesday. DJT token prices have fallen by 58% in the past 24 hours, according to DEXTools data.

The popularity of the Trump family in crypto circles is not a new trend. Presidential candidate Donald Trump recently said that he wants all Bitcoin to be mined in the United States.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Radek Zielinski
Tech Journalist

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.