I read a piece of news today that shocked me. Melania Trump is planning to launch an NFT collection where each NFT is priced at $250,000! Well, the bidding starts at that amount, so technically it can go higher. The collection goes live on Jan 11, 2022. The NFTs will be minted on Solana. You can preview the collection here - Melania Trump's NFT collection. Below is a dumb artwork from that collection.
Following the traditional arrival ceremony, Mrs. Trump and Mrs. Macron visited the National Gallery of Art, and attended a joint press conference in the White House. Mrs. Trump wore the iconic broad-brimmed, one-of-a-kind hat and an asymmetrical Michael Kors suit to all of the day's events.
I don't know about you guys but this picture isn't even worth $25. I am all for artists putting in hours of hard work to develop something that can be called digital art. A euphoric market can have artwork being sold for excessive value. However, a photo of the former first lady of the US is best sold on a postcard worth $2.5. This, as usual, is being marketed as an auction for a charitable cause but I would rather that anyone thinking of buying this should actually give out food and clothing worth $100,000 to the needy.
NFTs are a phenomenal idea - as long as they help un-noticed artists get the fame they deserve. Beeple is a classic example. Well, he is now famous but there are thousands of people who have been able to transform their lives, thanks to NFTs. However, there is this ongoing trend where corporations and celebrities have started cashing in on this novel and pathbreaking innovation.
I hate the fact that Nike and Adidas are selling sneaker NFTs. However, if priced reasonably, and as long as there is a market for them, I guess it still makes sense. Sneaker collection is a relatively new thing and can help people make money. So, if someone wants to bet that sneaker NFTs will also take off, then well and good.
However, celebrities selling overpriced NFTs is truly disgusting. NFT artwork is a new space and it is getting all the publicity it needs. When celebrities start minting NFTs, then they are monetizing two things - their fanbase and the NFT craze. What is missing from their actions is the responsibility to inform retail buyers about the risks associated with these investments. I truly believe that celebrities have a responsibility towards their fans.
I know that if one is a free markets believer then, in the long run, irresponsible actions from any celebrities will be penalized in the form of loss of fans. So anyone selling any form of irrationally priced NFTs is right. However, when stupid ideas like MT's NFTs materialize they bring the wrong kind of publicity to the NFT space and the debate that should be around innovation turns to a debate around mindless artwork selling for millions of dollars. That will eventually impact the real artists for whom this NFT space has been a blessing in disguise.
I think as early adopters of crypto, it becomes important for us to call out the bullshit. If rich people are speculating a tiny amount of their wealth on ridiculous NFTs, then so be it. However, if you know a friend who is investing hard-earned money in some stupid idea, then please stop them, even if they curse you for not being able to make a potentially substantial gain in the short term.
I hope this trend of celebrity NFTs ends soon (like ICOs) and NFTs (and platforms such as ours) can do what YouTube and other social media outlets did for content creators.