(Kitco News) – The multinational news broadcaster CNN has announced the abrupt shuttering of Vault by CNN, the company’s nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace that was originally launched in June 2021.
Vault specialized in offering NFT versions of the news organization’s reports on notable events such as space shuttle launches and presidential elections, and also sold art inspired by news events.
While the announcement caught many in the community off-guard, a statement released by the company suggested that “Vault was originally launched as a 6-week experiment,” meaning that it has survived long past its intended shelf life.
The initial support and engagement from the community allowed the project to extend beyond its original timeline, but the decline in interest and prices of NFTs in 2022 led the company to make the decision to shutter the platform.
“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,” CNN said in a statement posted on Twitter. “While we will no longer be developing or maintaining this community, the Vault NFT collection will live on.”
Responses from the community have been similar to what is seen when any crypto project folds, with people accusing CNN of essentially doing a rug pull and absconding with the collected funds.
“There goes my CNN Vault investment, never would have guessed CNN as a company pulling a rug,” user MM81 said in the Vault by CNN Discord server.
While CNN hasn’t completely ghosted the community and remains in communication with NFT holders, the fact that the project’s roadmap includes new features up until the end of Q4 2022 makes this appear as though it was an abrupt decision that was made with little thought of the community.
It has been estimated that Vault by CNN had made $324,000 from the 28 highest-priced NFT runs on the marketplace before fees, but those figures have not been verified by the company.
Discussions on the community discord indicate that collectors will be able to retrieve some of their originally contributed funds.
“We are currently working out the details, but expect the distribution amount to be roughly 20% of the original mint price for each Vault NFT owned,” Discord moderator and Vault by CNN core team member Jason said in a thread. The partial refund will reportedly be paid in FLOW tokens or Stablecoins.
The moderator also indicated that the collection would “live on” when asked whether the images and video in the NFTs stored on the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) protocol would remain. CNN plans to continue operating the Vault Marketplace and the Discord server will stay open until distributions are processed.
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