National Geographic’s First NFT Launch Backfires

When National Geographic announced its first NFT collection, they did not expect the kind of backlash they received. The nature-centric magazine hoped its audience would embrace NFTs. After all, the magazine has dedicated its efforts to covering animals such as apes, which happen to be quite popular within the NFT space.

Problems began on Monday when the magazine posted an image of a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT on its social media accounts. The goal was to prepare its large audience for the imminent launch of its Genesis Collection on Polygon. The NFT collection features work from 16 of its top photographers, including Justin Aversano, Catch Simard, Reuben Wu, and John Knof.

Credit: Nat Geo Genesis NFT Collection Left: Michael Yamashita / Right: Cath Simard

However, things didn’t go as anticipated. The mere mention of NFTs on its social media accounts caused an uproar in the comment section. Some dubbed them as scams and other profanities were thrown around. Those with a slight idea of the technology claimed that the NFT bubble had already popped. Plus, many others urged the magazine to delete the posts.

Technical Issues Didn’t Help Matters

Interestingly, given that National Geographic’s core audience is unfamiliar with blockchain technology and its innovations, the response should come as no surprise. The majority of the audience’s concerns mirror what digital assets have had to endure as they try to revolutionize many aspects of our lives.

National Geographic also faced criticism due to numerous technical issues during the NFT minting process. The platform used for minting, Snowcrash, had difficulty fulfilling customer requests.

One Twitter user by the name of Torpedo would deem the effort a “complete fail” after trying to mint for six hours with little to show for it.

Other users highlighted the lack of interoperability with Snowcrash, which means that Nat Geo NFTs could only be traded on this one platform, leading to further criticism.

Also, perspective plays a huge role. NFTs came to the fore during the last bull market. Celebrities and other prominent individuals would embrace and endorse them, leading to NFTs getting wide coverage. Consequently, many individuals struggled to get to grips with the technology.

That said, Ryan Hawthorne, an artist who has previously released Ethereum NFTs through the renowned Sotheby’s auction house, defended the Nat Geo collection against the backlash it was receiving. “Welcome to the comment section, where you’ll see a lot of people criticizing things they don’t understand,”.


  • Basil Kimathi

    Basil is an avid fan of blockchain technology and all its innovations, and he is passionate about sharing this narrative with his audience. He has spent over five years in the crypto space, specializing in research and creating fintech content for various media outlets around the globe. His work has been published on top websites such as, European Blockchain Convention, NFTNewsToday,,, and many others. When not thinking about disruptive technologies, Basil is busy exploring the outdoors.

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