- Azuki was founded by Chiru Labs.
- The collection has the 8th most secondary sales volume of any NFT project in existence.
- Chiru Labs airdropped Azuki holders its BEANZ Official collection in March 2022.
- Want to buy an Azuki? Do your own research on the Lucky Trader Azuki page.
What Is Azuki?
On January 12, 2022, Azuki – a collection of 10,000 anime-styled NFTs with art created by the former Overwatch art director, Steamboy, was minted for 1.0 ETH via Dutch auction.
Each NFT minted took a new "form," the ERC-721A, an Ethereum smart contract standard that allowed users to mint multiple NFTs for “the same cost of minting a single NFT.”
Azuki creator, Chiru Labs, also innovated on the typical NFT project roadmap with its "Mindmap," which gained early acclaim for its uniqueness. The most important theme of the Mindmap was the importance given to building "Dope sh*t only." The mantra is meant to indicate the project's steadfast focus on pioneering in the NFT space.
“It’s easy to follow trends and improve incrementally. It’s harder to be original and do dope sh*t only. We pave our own path," said Chiru Labs.
Who Created Azuki?
- Chiru Labs founder Zagabond
- Chiru Labs founder 2pm.flow
- Chiru Labs founder location tba
- Chiru Labs founder HoshiBoy
- Azuki artist and former Character Art Director for Overwatch Steamboy
In early 2022, the Azuki team added former Sanrio CEO Rehito Hatoyama to help push the brand forward.
Origins of Azuki
After selling out its full collection of 10,000 NFTs almost immediately, Azuki began catching the attention of the entire NFT space. Not even four months after the project’s release it went from a mint price of 1 ETH to a floor price of more than 30 ETH. The project caught even more attention early on from what was called the “Azuki Garden Party” at NFT LA in March of 2022.
The Garden Party was an event exclusively for holders of an Azuki NFT and was headlined by notable musicians such as Wiz Khalifa and TOKiMONSTA. It seemed to be a normal event until Azuki asked participants to “check their wallets."
Holders of an Azuki were then airdropped two “Something Official” NFTs from the Azuki team. Each of the Something Official NFTs initially depicted a wooden crate. But soon after the drop, the metadata updated to include a pile of dirt. Despite the NFT showcasing a literal pile of dirt, NFTs quickly began selling above 3 ETH and ran all the way above 7 ETH, more than $20,000 at the time. The pile of dirt changed once more to the notable BEANZ Official companion NFT collection.
After BEANZ, Azuki also airdropped holders the Azuki “Twin Tigers Jacket.” Holders of the NFT that featured a bomber jacket were then able to burn the NFT in exchange for a physical version of the jacket. After claiming the physical item users were then sent an “Azuki Twin Tigers Jacket – Red Side” NFT to commemorate the experience. The window to claim the physical jacket came to a close on August 17, 2022.
The community has also made efforts to build up the Azuki brand on its own. For example, holders of an Azuki NFT with the “Spirit” trait built a community Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO.) The Spirit DAO is “a private syndicate of Azuki collectors dedicated to making Azuki the most recognizable brand in the metaverse” according to the DAO. Holders of a Spirit DAO NFT are granted membership to the DAO as well as “associated benefits” that come from holding the token.
However, delivering all of this has not come without a few bumps in the road for Chiru Labs and one of its founders ZAGABOND. Back in early May of 2022, ZAGABOND released an article titled “A Builder’s Manifesto” where he detailed his journey prior to founding Chiru Labs. A main takeaway from the piece was the admission of previous NFT projects he had worked on – CryptoPhunks, CryptoZunks, and Tendies.
NFT community members like ZachXBT, implied that ZAGABOND “rugged” those projects by stepping away from them. The Azuki frontman has since made attempted to make amends by refunding users who minted Tendies, as well as giving the CryptoPhunks and CryptoZunks communities the private keys to their respective contracts.
How Is Azuki Valued?
Azuki is made up of 10,000 anime-styled NFTs with a variety of possible traits but only four types – Human, Blue, Red, and Spirit. With the most expensive and rarest being the Spirit Azuki's.
Users can explore the rarity rankings for the Azuki collection on the Lucky Trader’s Asset Explorer, but the list of Azuki “Type” traits is the following:
- Human (9,018)
- Blue (444)
- Red (441)
- Spirit (97)
Spirit Azuki’s have sold for as much as 420 ETH on OpenSea and have had multiple buys for more than 100 ETH. Beyond the "type" trait, there are many “Golden” traits that have also been traded at a premium. Non-Spirit Azuki’s with “Golden” Clothing, Neck, and Offhand traits have sold for as much as 100 ETH with many others selling for more than 40 ETH.
Azuki has done approximately $800M in sales which is good for 8th all-time for any NFT project according to Cryptoslam. The project has never fallen below its mint price of 1 ETH and has touched a floor price as high as 30 ETH according to its project page on Lucky Trader.
How to Buy Azuki
Users can purchase an Azuki NFT on notable NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea, LooksRare, and X2Y2. Prospective buyers will need a web3 wallet to interact with the marketplace, allowing them to buy, sell or bid on an Azuki NFT.
To buy an Azuki, users will search “Azuki” on any of the previously mentioned marketplaces (or use the links above) and click the official collection.
From there users can search for an Azuki that they wish to purchase. After deciding, users can then choose to either buy the NFT for its listed “Buy Now” price or submit an offer on the specific NFT they wish to purchase that can then be either accepted or rejected by its current owner.