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What is Azuki?

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Azuki is a collection of 10,000 anime-styled characters on the Ethereum blockchain and aims to strengthen the connection between the virtual and physical world.

These days, it’s hard to find someone who can’t recognize just even one Anime character, given the Japanese animation’s immense popularity in various parts of the world. It is such a huge industry that this year, it is valued at $26.89 billion and expected to grow to $58.39 billion, a clear indicator of its continuously expanding influence. With this trend, a non-fungible token (NFT) project has attempted to tap Anime’s immense popularity by infusing its art style into its aesthetics, which became one of its best decisions and made it a successful collection. 

Background 

The Azuki collection was created by Chiru Labs, composed of crypto and gaming experts, and aims to build the metaverse’s biggest decentralized brand. Arnold Tsang, a famous conceptual artist whose works are on Activision Blizzard’s first-person shooter game Overwatch, is a credited co-creator of the project. As for the anonymous members, they have promised to reveal their true identities soon. 

What is Azuki? 

Azuki is a collection of 10,000 anime-styled characters on the Ethereum blockchain and aims to strengthen the connection between the virtual and physical world. Each of its characters symbolizes braveness, creativity, and an unbreakable spirit, which are much-needed qualities for today’s challenging world. They also have highly-creative traits, including clothes, hair, background, accessories, skateboard, swords, etc. 

By purchasing an Azuki, an NFT collector will be part of an exclusive community called ‘The Garden’ and gain access to exclusive offerings such as streetwear items, live events, NFT drops, and other virtual and physical perks. The team is also exploring the possibility of creating a $BEAN token, together with Azuki’s DAO and game functionalities, as part of its plan of bringing more utilities to the holders. 

The collection, which launched last January 12, 2022, initially introduced 8,700 avatars; and made a record $30 million in sold-out sales, shortly after the release. The team then held a private sale of another set of Azuki NFTs, which generated another $2 million. A month after its reveal, its floor price has risen to 10 ETH and continued to climb to 40 ETH by March 2022. As of June 2022, its floor price has stabilized to 10.6 ETH, which may rise or sink in the coming months. 

The Secrets to its Success

The Azuki collection saw an impressive success shortly after its launch, making it the envy of other NFT projects that failed to cross the same path. But the question is, what made it so successful? ‘Zagabond,’ the project’s founder, and Tsang generously revealed the secrets of their collection’s inspiring success. 

According to Zagabond, Azuki’s anime-themed characters, and its eye-candy visuals, have become exciting and relatable to many NFT collectors, especially in Asia. As for Tsang, Azuki’s rebel spirit enabled it to reach out to the crypto community effectively. This spirit, after all, is shared by crypto natives whose industry continues to rise and entangles itself from the norms of the current world. 

The BEANZ Collection 

The BEANZ Collection was airdropped to Azuki holders last March 31, with each owner receiving two new adorable bean-themed NFTs. There are currently 12 types of beans in the collection, each with different colors and unique characteristics. Here’s a look at some of the cute bean characters. 

BEANZ Characteristics 
Red Beanz Brings positive vibes to the Garden community. 
Blue Beanz The menace and prankster in the Beanz squad.
Black Beanz Intelligent and curious. 
Coffee Beanz The life of the party and filled with so much energy. 
Purple Beanz The most chill and relaxed bean in the collection. 

The team has not yet released detailed information about BEANZ, but what’s confirmed right now is that it has a 1.35 ETH floor price at OpenSea

The Bobu Project 

Azuki #40, also known as ‘Bobu,’ is the team’s experiment in testing the potential of decentralized IP management. Despite its experimental nature, this scheme has all the necessary safeguards to ensure the protection of all participants. 

By owning a ‘Bobu Token,’ holders will have the power to vote on the future functionalities of the smart contract that runs behind it. Some proposals of what token holders can vote for include Bobu’s origin story, management of its ETH assets, treasury allocations, and even advertisement ideas. They can also turn the token into a verified Twitter NFT profile picture, sell it at OpenSea, and access closed Garden Discord channels. 

The team reminds holders that Bobu tokens are governance tokens and do not represent fractional ownership of the NFT character. Furthermore, Fractional.Art created these tokens, a platform that facilitates collective ownership and governance of multiple NFTs, and holders must read its terms and conditions first before purchasing the token. 

Involved in Rugpulls? 

In a blog post released by Zagabond last May 10, 2022, he outlined his vision for the Azuki project and the entire NFT industry. He also chronicled his previous NFT projects, which highlighted his experience in the field, which, after all, looks innocent, right? 

But not for one eagle-eyed blockchain native who noticed that the NFT projects Zagabond has mentioned have allegedly one common denominator: They were all “rugpulls”. A Twitter user named ‘ZachXBT ‘ claimed that three NFT projects in Zagabonds’ blog post, such as ‘CrypotPhunks’ (a parody of CryptoPunks), CryptoZunks, and Tendies were all involved in rugpulls. Zagabond immediately countered this claim by saying that all the three projects had delivered all their promises, and the lack of market fit was the primary reason for the halt of their progress. 

Conclusion 

Azuki had a strong, surprising start and was once considered the newest blue chip of the NFT industry, but its progress has significantly decreased and might continue, especially with the recent controversy with its founder. But since it’s a young project, with just less than a year in existence, there are so many things it hasn’t yet done, which, if finally executed, might change its current course and bring back its previous glory. 

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