CNN’s NFT marketplace “Vault By CNN” took to Twitter to announce it is shutting down, whipping up community backlash.
Some accused CNN of perpetrating a rug pull, while others said they would take legal action against the new company.
Vault CNN’s promising start faded as crypto winter settled in
The marketplace was launched in the summer of 2021 amid the NFT boom, with the promise that it would “offer collectors the opportunity to own a piece of history.”
Buyers were able to buy collectible “Moments” tied to major news events, historical moments, and artistic renditions of archival media. The NFTs came with utilities like exclusive Discord conversations, and Vault artist chats archive access, and collectors-only articles.
The marketplace also promised collectors exclusive CNN perks, Vault merch, and discounts on future Vault drops.
The sudden shutdown of the marketplace means the promised features will not be offered to users who have already spent thousands of dollars on the NFTs. Preceding the shutdown, CNN had generated $328,700 from its first NFT sale in June 2021, according to a Press Gazette report.
The most expensive NFT sold through the Vault was $500 video clips of the moment CNN predicted various presidential election victories.
The community reacts
The community members voiced their surprise and disappointment at CNN’s decision via Vault’s Discord channel, where a message informing holders that the Vault website will “undergo changes” but will still allow holders to view their NFTs and use its marketplace was posted.
This means the actual media for the NFTs is stored in an IPFS, a distributed file system that allows the NFTs to remain available even if CNN’s website goes away.
Holders accused CNN of a “rugpull,” with one member pointing out that many holders participated in the NFT drop expecting to “complete the challenges and yield utility.”
He added that CNN teased different utilities such as future IRL a month prior, discount tokens for Vault by CNN NFTs, and Probably Nothing before “pulling the rug on a moment’s notice.”
A CNN staffer by the name of “Jason” said that Vault by CNN holders can expect to be compensated for joining in their “experiment” with roughly 20% of the distributions based on the purchase price of each wallet’s NFTs as captured on October 6, 2022.
Details of the compensation are still being worked out, but CNN has confirmed that the distribution will be made in FLOW tokens or stablecoins.