Trump’s poorly crafted NFTs use photos of small clothing brands | Popgen Tech
Betcha couldn’t get enough of that mug, could she? The only thing is that this Photoshop job seems to be very haphazardly edited with images taken directly from the internet.
Over the past 24 hours, fans of ex-President Donald Trump have sat squirming in their seats, waiting with bated breath for the supposed announcement that the once master tweeter promised would knock their socks off. He posted video to his Truth Social page, which shows him in a superhero outfit, sporting pectorals that he obviously doesn’t have, as laser beams shoot out of his eyes. What could that mean? What kind of apocalypse was waiting?
On Thursday, the big surprise was finally revealed, and it was none other than that another terrible NFT project which, according to Trump, contained “the amazing ART of my life and career!” These “digital trading cards” are indeed another NFT project to grab money, but the low quality of the images and the company responsible for the project is more of a mystery.
Each NFT sells for a total of $99, and some are limited to single copies, while other NFTs are available in two, five, seven, or 10 copies. There are a total of 45,000 cards in the initial run, but more than that, one big fan of Mr. Trump will be “guaranteed” with a ticket to some future gala dinner with him, ostensibly at his Mar-a-Lago residence in South Florida. At the auction, they even promised to pay for the transport. So yes, spend $4,455 and you too can sit down with the former president himself. Although we can guarantee you he won’t look as skinny as he does on those trading cards.
The images were so lazy that based on a reverse image search they were edited photos scraped off the internet. It’s unclear whether they were edited by hand or perhaps generated by AI, although one image of Trump wearing a hunting outfit bears a very clear resemblance to the cams created by hunting clothing company Banded.
Trump’s cowboy outfit appears to be paired with a leather down, which is imported from stores like Scully Sportswear, a California-based costume and western clothing store. The same anther with the image of a white anther is also available on Amazon.
Gizmodo reached out to both companies to see if they had any kind of agreement with the NFT Project to use their products, but we didn’t immediately hear back.
This whole thing is amazing in so many different ways. In a video of Trump promoting the project, Trump claims it is “better than [Abraham] Lincoln is better than [George] Washington”. He then says: “Each card comes with an automatic chance to win amazing prizes like dinner with me. I don’t know if it’s an amazing prize, but it’s what we have.’
And while your first guess was that all of that money would go to Trump’s re-election campaign, you’d be wrong, at least according to the campaign page. NFT INT LLC, the company listed as hosting the NFT auction, wrote:
“These digital trading cards are not political and have nothing to do with a political campaign. NFT INT LLC is not owned, operated or controlled by Donald J. Trump, The Trump Organization, CIC Digital LLC or any of their respective principals or affiliates. NFT INT LLC uses the name, image and likeness of Donald J. Trump under a fee-based license from CIC Digital LLC that may be terminated or revoked in accordance with its terms.”
Gizmodo reached out to NFT INT to get a better understanding of how this all happened, but we didn’t immediately hear back.
Things get even weirder when you look at the auction company. The company, NFT INT LLC, lists its address as a kitschy strip mall in Utah that contains several stores and restaurants, a dry cleaner, and a UPS store. As Gizmodo previously reported, the companies involved in the bid to buy Trump’s favored social media platform Truth Social had similar arrangements, as they are based out of a UPS Store mailbox.
It is even more unclear who is operating behind the scenes. Gizmodo found two companies called NFT INT registered in California and Delaware, which of course are not located in Utah. We contacted the person listed as CEO of California-registered NFT INT LLC, who informed us that their company is not affiliated with this project.
The Salt Lake Tribune’s report on the NFT confirmed the unusualness surrounding the UPS Store mailbox. The Tribune also noted that while the Twitter account for Project NFT lists Florida as its business residence, there are 20 businesses in Florida that list a Utah UPS mailbox as their residence.
So if for some reason you really like the idea of Trump NFTs, just keep in mind that NFTs are “non-returnable” and “returnable”. Sure, you could just do what we did, right-click and ‘save as’, but that would defeat the purpose of the digital deficit, wouldn’t it?
Update as of 12/15/2022 at 11:00 PM ET: This post has been updated to include information about California-based NFT INT LLC and to add additional information from the Salt Lake Tribune.
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