CNN to shut down its NFT marketplace and issue 20% refund

The nonfungible token venture, originally scheduled with a half-year road map, lasted little under four months.

According to a new Twitter post published Monday evening, U.S.-based multimedia outlet The Cable News Network, colloquially known as CNN, says it will shut down its nonfungible tokens (NFT) project less than four months after its launch. Dubbed “Vault by CNN: Moments That Changed Us,” the collection included a series of tokenized iconic news moments from its 41-year history, along with a vault to purchase, store and display the NFTs. 

In explaining the decision, CNN staff said that Vault was a “six-week experiment” and a “first foray into Web 3.0.” However, the firm will “no longer be developing or maintaining this community.” The collection was originally minted on the Flow blockchain, with CNN “retaining copyright and ownership over the content.” 

According to its official roadmap, developers were supposed to implement new features such as “exclusive CNN perks for Vault collectors” and “mint your own CNN article NFT.” In the project’s Discord server, CNN staff member Jason said that users would receive 20% of the original mint price of the NFT tokens in the form of stablecoins or Flow tokens deposited to collectors’ wallets. 

Vault by CNN’s proposed compensation plan for NFT holders | Source: Discord

While there is a significant discrepancy between the asking prices of Vault by CNN NFTs on its marketplace, many of them were minted for as little as $10 at inception, indicating very little respite for NFT holders under the proposed reimbursement plan. Meanwhile, many users in the project’s 1,400-plus Discord community have voiced their displeasure at the decision. One individual, RichardRazo, wrote:

“As an investor, I don’t know if I can expect to break even in a few years. Is CNN able to share why they think 20% is fair because, to me, that implies they hopefully think we can break even or make profits within a few years, right? If not, then this seems like a rug pull.”