One of Web3’s strongest brands, Azuki has a success story and an even brighter future
If you’re a fan of digital collectibles, there’s a good chance you’ve come across Azuki NFTs. The brand hasn’t been around for long but has already become one of the most popular in Web3. But what makes Azuki so special?
In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the history of Azuki NFTs, the dirt, and the gold. We’ll also dive into future projects and speculate about where the brand might be headed. So if you’re curious about this iconic NFT brand, keep reading!
- What is Azuki?
- The Azuki team
- What’s behind Azuki’s success?
- How do you value and track Azuki NFTs?
- What are Azuki BEANZ?
- Hilumia: The Azuki NFT world
- Azuki Elementals: the newest collection
- Azuki’s Physical Backed Tokens
- Azuki’s Anime Collaboration with Director Gorō Taniguchi
- Azuki BEANZ and IPX partnership
- New Community Equips in Azuki Collector’s Profile
- Where to buy Azuki NFTs?
- What is the most expensive Azuki NFT ever sold?
- Keep track of blue-chip NFT collections
What is Azuki?
Azuki is a Web3 brand that first came to life through the launch of the Azuki NFTs. The collection of 10,000 unique non-fungible tokens was a massive hit since its launch in early 2022 and continued despite scandals we’ll dive into later.
Azuki is inspired by anime – something much anticipated in the NFT space – and stands out for having beautiful art, variety and rarity in the collection, extensive and easy navigability on the project website, and plenty of community engagement.
In addition, as Azuki consolidated itself as a blue-chip NFT collection, it prioritized transparency and clarity.
The successful launch
Azuki NFTs’ launch in January 2022 took it to the top of the list of most successful releases. The 8,700 collectibles were available for sale on OpenSea and LooksRare in a Dutch auction and sold out in four minutes. This generated around $29 million in revenue and caught the attention of the entire NFT space.
The remaining NFTs were minted by the whitelist, and so far, the total volume of the collection has reached $1.15 billion. This places Azuki in the 4th position of the DappRadar NFT Ranking. That is, it is among the biggest and most profitable of all time.
The Azuki team
Chiru Labs is the company behind Azuki, and the core team faced a lot of criticism from the community when they made public the fact that Zagabond, one of the project’s co-founders, revealed that he had already participated in three NFT projects before and abandoned them. This caused much of the community to lose faith in Azuki and fear that the resounding success was just another rug pull.
Nevertheless, the storm has passed, and Azuki has proven to be something that goes far beyond its founders – who, in fact, have vast experience not only in NFTs but also in tech, game design, and branding. Today, it is considered by many a blue-chip NFT collection.
What’s behind Azuki’s success?
With so many PFP NFT collections in the space at the start of 2022, at first glance, there wasn’t much to make Azuki stand out. That is, until you actually stop to look into the project and see the great work they put into every aspect of the brand. Here are some factors that may have helped Azuki NFTs become such a massive success.
NFT art quality and rarity
When it comes to NFTs, you can judge a book by its cover or projects by their artwork, at least a little bit. Azuki’s anime-inspired designs are not only beautiful and carefully created, but they also reveal quality strategic preparation.
The varied traits of NFTs grant them specific unique rarities that can be easily filtered by collectors. No secrets, you can browse the gallery of 10,000 anime avatars on Azuki’s official website and dive into the world of the collection.
Azuki utility and storytelling prospect
As a complement to fine art, Azuki NFTs also provide their holders with benefits, such as:
“Membership access to The Garden: a corner of the internet where artists, builders, and web3 enthusiasts meet to create a decentralized future. Azuki holders receive access to exclusive drops, experiences, and more.”
But beyond that is that little spark of hope that the project would grow into something much more complex than just the NFTs as we knew them. The team did a very good job of demonstrating that they were investing in an expansion of the universe they were creating, and the audience couldn’t wait to see it concretized.
Among Azuki’s core values is putting community first. “Everything starts and ends with the community,” according to the website. And that is indeed true in this case.
Several initiatives to build Azuki’s image come from active community members, collectors, and whales who want to see their investments grow in value – out of financial interest and out of simple admiration for what Azuki is capable of achieving.
How do you value and track Azuki NFTs?
To track the general collection performance and the latest NFT sales, you can use the NFT Rankings.
Take a look below at the data gathered about the Azuki collection regarding last week’s performance.
It can be difficult to define an NFT project’s market value as so many variables weigh in. Azuki NFTs valuation varies according to the reputation and public faith in the project, which remains firm despite such rug pull claims. Also, rare character traits make NFTs rarer and more valuable, as with Spirit and Gold NFTs.
What are Azuki BEANZ?
Besides the original Azuki NFT collection, the project also launched a second collection called BEANZ in April 2022. Besides being a cheaper entry point to the community, Beanz was the beginning of a new age for Azuki.
Every owner of an original Azuki NFT collection had received in their wallets a mysterious box – an airdropped NFT – that was later revealed as a new character of the Beanz collection.
Illustrated as Azuki Beanz with personalities, the NFTs are described as:
“A small species that sprouts from the dirt in the garden, earnestly driven by the desire to help their Azuki friends”
They were a huge success and generated $52 million in sales in two weeks, as you can read in our official report. By giving holders an entry pass to the Azuki universe, owning a BEANZ also gives you priorities in Azuki’s new projects, such as the Azuki Elementals collection, announced in June 2023.
Hilumia: The Azuki NFT world
Since the beginning, dedicated to being more than a collection of NFTs that are just used as a profile picture, the Azuki team always hinted to the community that they had big plans for the future.
In addition to the utilities acquired with the NFT, such as access to the exclusive The Garden, physical events, and so on, the project from the beginning also indicated that it was working on a gamified metaverse. In January 2023, Azuki opened the gates to its virtual world, Hilumia.
The Hilumia city interactive map is Azuki’s first dive into metaverse virtual worlds, which may take the NFTs on a long journey. It’s available on Azuki’s website and features 10 locations that tease to become unique experiences for the community.
This motivates collectors to hold their investments, not just flip NFTs, and see in Azuki immeasurable value. In addition, one of the NFTs in the collection, Bobu, will also be fractionalized and transformed into the native token of the Azuki ecosystem. It’s still too early to know everything this Azuki metaverse will deliver to the community, but it will certainly involve lots of NFT storytelling.
Azuki Elementals: the newest collection
In June 2023, Azuki announced it would launch a new NFT collection called Elementals. Although they did not share many details on the narrative behind it, Azuki Elementals is a 20,000-NFT collection of anime-like characters divided into four elements (water, earth, fire and lightning). The new project’s trailer with quality animation hinted it was inspired by Nickelodeon’s successful animation series Avatar The Last Airbender. In its Twitter announcement, Azuki mentioned its Hilumia Garden and how Elementals are divided into Four Domains.
All Azuki holders received an unrevealed locked airdrop of an Elemental NFT, leaving around 10,000 available for sale. Moreover, every Azuki and BEANZ holder got presale access for the collection sale on June 27 at 9 am PT. Although the public will have access to Elementals at 9:20 am PT, speculation is that the community won’t leave many NFTs go loose.
Azuki’s Physical Backed Tokens
Announced in October 2022, Physical Backed Tokens (PBT) promise to blur the line between digital and physical. This innovative open-sourced token standard was created by Chiru Labs and adds a new on-chain “scan-to-own” experience with physical items.
PBTs are completely on-chain (Ethereum) and provide a decentralized way to authenticate physical goods simply by scanning with your phone. See the announcement below:
Azuki’s first implementation of a PBT used the new scan-to-own technology with its cryptographic BEAN chip to a series of nine golden skateboards tied to the Azuki story.
The decentralized authentication of physical goods is an exciting new addition to the Web3 world and yet another way that Chiru Labs is shaping its future.
Azuki’s Anime Collaboration with Director Gorō Taniguchi
Chiru Labs has announced a groundbreaking partnership with renowned anime director Gorō Taniguchi, and Dentsu, a leading Japanese advertising agency and anime production company.
Azuki plans to create an anime anthology series consisting of three distinct stories, each with its own director and character artists.
Taniguchi, known for his work on iconic anime projects like “Code Geass” and “One Piece Film: Red,” and Arnold Tsang, Azuki’s art director and co-creator, believes this collaboration has the potential to hold web3-driven storytelling, and can benefit Japan’s animation industry.
Azuki BEANZ and IPX partnership
In April 2023, Chiru Labs announced a partnership with IPX, the company behind the popular South Korean brand LINE FRIENDS. It immediately had a great impact on BEANZ and Azuki collections, as we covered in our NFT Highlights of that week.
The collection’s trading volume has surged by 41.01%, reaching $22.1 million, while the floor price has climbed by 15.59% to almost $32,000.
Building on the success of their previous collaboration, the Chiru Labs x IPX winter collection with BEANZ and BROWN will be available starting 11 January 2024. In it, Azuki Beanz fans will be able to find the following 3 merchandise products:
The sale will take place on the LINE Friends Collection.
This partnership symbolizes a great responsibility for the Azuki brand to reach web2 markets and the ever-present Asian audiences in the Web3 space.
New Community Equips in Azuki Collector’s Profile
At the end of November 2023, Azuki announced the introduction of the New Community Equips.
The first of these to be made available on Azuki Collector’s Profile was the DemCrabz Plushie by Ocean Park, a Web3 platform focused on IP utilization on both digital and physical products.
This launch allowed Azuki owners to equip the DemCrabz Plushie to their FPFs.
A month later, it was revealed that the community equip feature would include the book “A Blooming Trilogy” by Bobu’s Kidz Books, a popular children’s book series available on Amazon.
Azuki has already announced its plans to expand its collection of community equips. If you’re a fan, be sure to keep an eye on their social media channels so you won’t miss any exciting updates.
What is the most expensive Azuki NFT ever sold?
As you can check out in DappRadar’s NFT Explorer, the top 5 most expensive Azuki NFTs all share the Spirit trait. The most expensive Azuki ever sold is Azuki #9605, purchased for 420.7 ETH ($1.42 million at the time of sale in March 2022).
With last sale prices ranging from 161.25 to 420.7 ETH (worth $210,036 to $547,982 at the time of writing,) these collectibles are both rare and almost impossible to get.
That’s because all holders of Spirit Azukis gathered together and formed an exclusive club inside the Azuki community, where they share ideas on how to improve the brand. They even organized what’s called the Spirit DAO, deciding together on group investment and so on.
Where to buy Azuki NFTs?
They are tokens built on the Ethereum blockchain and follow the same characteristics as any non-fungible token. That is, have their characteristics, possession, and history immutable and incontestable.
It is possible that, in the future, these digital assets will be included in a much wider universe than it is today. This explains the speculation that drives so many collectors to spend thousands of dollars on something they cannot hold.
Keep track of blue-chip NFT collections
If you’re interested in learning and investing more in blue-chip NFT collections like Azuki, DappRadar is the right place to start.
- View Azuki NFT Collection & Track Top Sales
- Azuki Official Website
- Azuki Community in Chaos After Founder Reveals Rug Pull History
- How to Value Azuki NFTs?
- Storytelling NFTs: A Trend Engaging Collections & Communities
- What are Blue-Chip NFT Collections? See The Updated List
The above does not constitute investment advice. The information given here is purely for informational purposes only. Please exercise due diligence and do your own research.