CNN Shutters Vault NFT Marketplace, Prompting Rug Pull Accusations

The cable news network said the platform was originally launched in June 2021 as a six-week experiment.

AccessTimeIconOct 11, 2022 at 9:15 p.m. UTC
Updated Oct 11, 2022 at 9:58 p.m. UTC

CNN announced on Monday that it’s shutting down Vault, a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace highlighting major moments from its history, prompting some community members to accuse the platform of orchestrating a “rug pull.”

The cable news network shared a statement on its plans to leave the platform behind, as well as information on the collection’s legacy.

“We learned a lot from our first foray into Web3, and we are excited to carry Vault’s concepts around community storytelling into future projects,” said Vault. “While we will no longer be developing or maintaining this community, the Vault NFT collections will live on.”

CNN said that it originally launched the project in June 2021 as a six-week experiment, though support from the community kept it going for over a year. The platform immortalized the media giant’s most significant archival moments – from Nelson Mandela’s release from prison to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s swearing-in ceremony – as NFT collectibles. Vault partnered with Dapper Labs, the creator of the moments-based sports collection NBA Topshot, to mint its moments on the Flow blockchain.

In its statement, Vault encouraged people to head to its Discord channel to learn more about what shuttering its platform means for collectors. The move prompted some to accuse CNN of orchestrating a rug pull – a type of crypto scam where creators pull the plug on a project suddenly and make off with investor funds. Others said they were disappointed by promises of long-term utility for holders, including exclusive perks, merchandise, upgrades and discounts on future drops.

A CNN staff member, “Jason,” said in the Discord channel that the platform plans to compensate collectors over the coming weeks by paying them roughly 20% of the tokens’ original mint price in either stablecoins or FLOW, the native token behind Flow.

In Discord, Vault specified that users can still trade their NFTs on Flow-compatible marketplaces, as well as on other dapps in the ecosystem.

CNN did not immediately respond to CoinDesk’s request for comment.


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Cam Thompson is a news reporter at CoinDesk.

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