CNN Accused of “Rug Pull” After Abruptly Shutting Down Vault

Discord server immediately shut down after the announcement 

The Vault

The Vault was launched by CNN in the summer of 2021. The launch was accompanied by the promise of CNN to offer a chance for collectors to own a piece of history. The platform was partnered with the startup Infinite Objects offering select buyers the ability to show off their purchases physically inside their homes and on user pages in the Vault.  Payments for the NFTs were collected via Stripe but a digital wallet was needed and created through Blocto to make the transactions and hold the NFT. The project was built on Flow.

There were many topics addressed with the NFTs such as presidential re-elections, space launches, wars, and more, even Nelson Mandela was commemorated by a project in a collaboration with Probably Nothing by Jeremy Fall.

It is not known how much CNN has generated via the Vault but some speculate it could be in the hundreds of thousands based off of the initial sold-out NFT prices on the platform. At the time of this writing all of that will be coming to an end as CNN has decided to shutter its web3 NFT project.

The Decision

The decision to shutter the project has some investors claiming that CNN has pulled what many call a “rug pull”. A rug pull is when a project builds a community through the hype, sells the asset, and then disappears with the funds leaving the investor with a useless asset.

CNN made the announcement via a tweet stating the decision to “say goodbye” to the project had been made. There was no real reason given as to why the project was being dismantled but the announcement did say the vault was not meant to be forever in a way.

“Vault was originally launched as a six-week experiment, but the support and engagement from our community let us expand this project into something much larger,” the Vault team said in the statement.”

The statement alludes to the fact that the team really didn’t have plans to continue past a month and a half but others are stating that it feels like the project was drawn out more just to get more money. This stings a bit more since last year an announcement made by CNN stated that the project would go way beyond the initial six weekly drops, promising “future drops” that would include wider topics and formats as the vault grew and built its community.

“Users can expect future drops of Moments to include an even wider range of digital collectible topics and formats as Vault by CNN grows and adapts to its community of collectors.”

Rug Pull

This move has made many in the vault community claim that CNN has done a dastardly deed and committed a “rug pull.”  The closure was very abrupt and the discord server was quickly closed following the announcement. The vault had previously been teasing new drops within the discord and documents on the project website stated that there were “exclusive CNN perks and merchandise coming soon.”

Those who bought the NFTs have been told by a CNN staffer that some form of “distribution” would be out to compensate those that purchased the NFTs, stating that the distribution will come in the form of either FLOW tokens or stablecoins which would be deposited into the wallets of collectors roughly at the rate of 20% of the original mint price for each NFT owned by the holder. The staffer also stated the collections would not be dead and the marketplace would remain active. Currently, the website is still up and running. 

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