The recently-released non-fungible token (NFT) collection by the controversial figure and the former president of the United States, Donald Trump, is being heavily criticized over its poor quality and editing, potential AI generation, and using brand-owned and stock images – among other things.
There are two major accusations leveled against Trump and the team behind the collection:
- the images used for the collection were taken directly from the internet, created by other people, and are of poor quality;
- the photoshop is badly done, or an AI image generator was used.
For example, there is an image of Trump as a duck hunter (or something akin to it), in an outfit very similar to the Branded “ASPIRE Collection – CATALYST All-Season Breathable Wader”.
Besides allegedly using brands’ outfits in the collection, there are accusations that Shutterstock images were used as well.
Not only that, but the job was so badly done that not even the watermarks were removed. And not just Shutterstock, but Adobe as well, users claim. Some are advising a fast exit from the project.
The Adobe watermark is clearly visible on this card as well:
Meanwhile, The Washington Post wrote that,
“If the images seen on the website are similar to the digital images that will be transferred to anyone who pays the $99 fee, then the Trump cards will feature clumsy Photoshop pictures of the former president’s face grafted onto reasonably fit male bodies, clad in various costumes of masculine bravado, including sporting garb, a sheriff’s duster and lots of blue suits.”
But the article also warned that,
“The joke, in the end, will unfortunately be at the expense of people who pay $99 for his NFTs, which, despite what appears to be an initial surge of interest, are likely to be extremely risky as a long-term investment. But that, too, is very on brand for Trump, a perfect distillation of his unique take on marketing.”
The NFT website itself, meanwhile, denies that NFT INT LLC, the company listed as hosting the NFT auction, is owned, managed, or controlled by Trump or his companies. Therefore, it is not clear what this company is, with plenty of speculation being spread online, and as for the designer behind the cards, the website says that the “award winning illustrator Clark Mitchell designed the beautiful imagery of the Trump Digital Trading Cards [who] has prominent working relationships with brands such as Star Wars, Hasbro, Mattel, Marvel, Time Magazine, Coors, Budweiser, Disney, Corona, and Coca-Cola.”
Donald Trump released the collection of NFTs, ‘Trump Cards’, last Thursday, which portrayed him in various guises, including a superhero, astronaut, and cowboy. There were a total of 45,000 NFTs, minted on Polygon, and the project is seen by many as another cash grab.
The collection sold out fast, and the OpenSea marketplace currently shows (at 9 am UTC on Monday morning) the lowest price to be ETH 0.099 ($120). The highest-priced card costs ETH 505 ($598,000).
The total volume currently stands at ETH 6,369 ($7.55 million), with 15,621 owners and 35% unique owners.
That said, the collection and its release were widely mocked upon their announcement, given that Trump had teased “major” news that many had presumed would be connected to US politics.
Furthermore, he shifted his position on the crypto industry very abruptly, criticizing crypto as dangerous in 2021, only to release his own NFT collection this year – particularly as US politicians (among others) decried NFT minting and crypto mining due to the ecological impact.
And that’s not all: in his NFT collection announcement, Trump stated that the cards feature “amazing art of my life & career,” while, as said, they depict him as an astronaut, a jacked-up superhero, a superhero with laser eyes, a race car driver, a pilot, etc.
The cards were also randomly generated and delivered, meaning the buyers wouldn’t know which one they had paid $99 for until they had it in their wallets. Also, only some are unique, while the rest have up to 20 copies.
Lastly, the ex-president, who claims to be a great businessman, was mocked for poor timing – releasing a collection when the NFT market was cooling down and when the crypto market was in turmoil due to the ongoing downturn and a series of company failures and bankruptcies, including the massive fall of the FTX exchange.
Per CryptoSlam, NFT global sales volume has dropped 87% since January this year.
Donald is not the only Trump turning to NFTs: less than a month after her husband called crypto “very dangerous,” Melania Trump announced her ‘Melania’s Vision’ collection.
And unsurprisingly, the ex-president and the collection were ridiculed on SNL as well.
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