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The company is entering the NFT market, but industry insiders are calling its efforts “a challenge,” “a mess,” and “a complete joke”.⁠

At the end of September, TikTok trumpeted a pair of milestones. First, the company announced it had over a billion monthly active users worldwide. Second, the wildly popular short-form video app-turned-cultural juggernaut was preparing its first-ever NFT collection, diving into a buzzy new technology that would allow any well-heeled consumer to own a digital collectible, a one-of-a-kind “cultural milestone” that had occurred on TikTok. This second announcement was widely covered in the media, probably because two of pop’s recent breakout stars — Lil Nas X and Bella Poarch — signed on to put out NFTs, and Grimes, a critically beloved artist billed by TikTok as a “prominent NFT creator,” was also involved in the program.⁠

But last Wednesday, when TikTok’s first NFT collaboration with Lil Nas X and the artist Rudy Willingham was supposed to arrive, it was nowhere to be found; the NFT was still M.I.A. on Monday, and a source close to the situation now tells Rolling Stone the release won’t be coming out at all.⁠

On top of that, Poarch, a wildly successful TikTok creator who broke YouTube records earlier this year with her single “Build a Bitch,” has been actively contemplating pulling out of the program due to worries about its execution, according to a person familiar with her team’s internal conversations. Three people with knowledge of TikTok’s NFT rollout described it as “a challenge,” “a mess,” and “a complete joke.” (Everyone who spoke to Rolling Stone did so on condition of anonymity, fearing the wrath of mighty TikTok.)⁠

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