Donald Trump, the former president of the United States and king of controversy, is making headlines again – but this time, it’s not for his political blunders or outrageous statements, No, this time, it’s for his grand entrance into the world of NFTs.
In case you’ve been living under a rock and have no idea what NFTs are, they’re digital assets verified on a blockchain that make them unique and super duper valuable to collectors. The NFT market has exploded in recent years, with digital art and other collectibles selling for millions of bucks. Trump, the ultimate businessman, saw an opportunity and decided to jump on the NFT bandwagon.
Last week, Trump made a “major announcement” that turned out to be the launch of a series of digital trading cards featuring himself as various characters, including a cowboy, astronaut, and superhero. These NFTs were a steal at only $99 each, and to Trump’s delight, all 45k NFTs sold out by Friday afternoon.
But while Trump may have enjoyed a temporary boost to his bank account, it seems that this venture may not be as lucrative as he had hoped.
Social media users were quick to figure out that many of the images looked a little too familiar, with some designs appearing to be nothing more than Trump’s head Photoshopped onto images found on the websites of small clothing businesses, stock images, or even dresses sold on Amazon and Walmart.
Journalist Matthew Sheffield even claimed that Donald Trump’s cowboy NFT was actually a doctored image from Amazon selling a “Scully Men’s Duster” jacket. Another social media user questioned whether Trump had gained permission from Reuters to use a photo that one of their photographers had taken of the former president golfing.
And yet another design, where Trump is dressed like a fighter pilot, was taken from a Shutterstock Image, with the watermark still visible on the outfit.
It’s not just the origins of the images that have raised eyebrows, though. Some have also questioned whether Trump had the legal right to use them for profit.
As one person tweeted, “using another company’s photos and unpaid stock images to create an image for profit is considered copyright infringement.” And with Trump’s reputation for avoiding paying for his mistakes, it’s unclear if the owners of these images will decide to pursue legal action for copyright infringement. But even beyond the potential legal issues, the NFTs have also sparked a wave of mockery and derision on social media.
Many have called the venture a “scam,” pointing out that NFTs are supposed to be original art in order to have value, and Trump’s NFTs appear to be copies of existing art and photos. Others have simply laughed at the absurdity of the whole thing, with one person tweeting, “with Trump, it’s always a scam.” All in all, it seems that Trump’s foray into the world of NFTs has been a bit of a disaster. From accusations of copyright infringement to widespread mockery, the former president’s latest venture has left him looking more like a laughing stock than a serious businessman. Maybe it’s time for Trump to stick to more traditional forms of wealth-building or at least make sure to do his due diligence before diving into a new market.