A DappRadar valuation report for the Azuki NFT collection
Launched in January 2022 via Dutch auction of 1 ETH, Azuki quickly established itself among the most traded NFT collections. In just one month since launch, it became the 10th most traded NFT project with more than 105,000 ETH ($300 million) generated at writing.
Azuki consists of 10,000 anime-styled NFTs that grant access to The Garden, a community-owned virtual space. The collection portrays itself as a brand for the metaverse, catalyzing media and identities within this sector. The project is so in vogue that it created a hype wave around this NFT niche.
This report serves as a guideline for the valuation of the Azuki collection. The process of valuing any NFT collection brings several factors upon consideration. First, we analyze each piece individually to focus on the uniqueness and rarity of its traits. Since the art itself remains subjective, other elements, including utility and social metrics, are also used as factors to assess the project’s strength.
Table of Contents
- Over $300 million in trades in one month
- Trait analysis and the 313 golden Azukis
- A brand for the metaverse
- Community in The Garden
Over $300 million in trades in one month
Azuki was created by Chiru Labs, a group of individuals that combine solid crypto and tech backgrounds, and two recognized artists – Arnold Tsang, aka steamboy33, Overwatch’s former Art Director, and Njoo, known for his work on the Street Fighter comic. The red beans representing the project were in high demand, and the art inspired by the Japanese anime series Cowboy Bebop, became one of the most appreciated in the space. Both factors were key in driving the value of this project to a new level.
In 40 days since launching, Azuki generated over $300 million in trading volume, establishing itself as the 10th most traded collection in the entire NFT space while surpassing relevant projects like Doodles, Cool Cats, and CyberKongz. The collection’s floor price has grown at least 1,000% from the mint price and is consolidating above 10 ETH (Ξ).
Moreover, Azuki is a well-distributed collection. It has 5,422 unique owners and has attracted more than 10,900 unique traders. Only 14% of the entire collection is listed on OpenSea. These metrics confirm the high demand that the project is enjoying.
An aspect of Azuki that is still overlooked is the enablement of ERC-721A contracts. For the first time in documented history, an ERC standard allows minting multiple items in a single transaction, thus benefiting the community by reducing the gas fees. The team open-sourced the smart contract standard, demonstrating its affinity for the community.
Next, we analyze the traits that give Azuki their unique style.
Trait analysis and the 313 golden Azukis
The uniqueness of each NFT is perhaps the most important factor when valuing a single piece within a collection. It is thus necessary to analyze the individual traits that make this collection special. Almost 12,000 sales were analyzed for the following trait analysis.
Azuki is composed of 12 traits and more than 450 unique attributes, where each NFT belongs to one of four types. The type trait therefore has a strong correlation with the asset’s price. Spirits are the rarest type of Azuki (0.97% rarity), retrieving an average sale price of 60.6 Ξ ($165,000). Only 21 of them are listed on OpenSea with a floor price of 80 Ξ.
The average trading price for Blue (4.44%) and Red (4.41%) types decreases drastically, albeit remaining rare. The Human type (90.18%) is the most common in the collection and hence the most accessible with a 7.86 Ξ ($22,000) average sale price.
Besides the type, a set of attributes also strongly influences the price of these NFTs. These are the golden items, neck, clothing, and offhand attributes encountered in 313 Azukis. Any Azuki featuring a golden attribute sold on average for 28.1 Ξ ($76,000), while NFTs not carrying golden items sold for just above 8 Ξ ($24,000).
The special trait also has a substantial say on the price of each Azuki. Fireflies (0.88%) and Fire (0.58%) specials appraise the value the most. Both types of Azuki are sold for 30 Ξ approximately (over $80,000) on average. While the average sale price of Sakura (0.8%), Fox Fire (0.86%), and Smoke (0.81%) sits at the 15 Ξ ($40,000) mark, their average sale price is higher than Azuki NFTs with no special trait (93.71%), which sold for 7.92 Ξ ($23,000) on average.
The offhand and clothing attributes have a visible correlation with the price too. However, in the offhand’s case, the interdependence with the price is mostly due to 19 golden offhand attributes, nine of which carried an average sale price higher than 25 Ξ. The Water Orb (0.61%) is the only offhand without a golden trait to sell for over 20 Ξ.
From the 98 clothing attributes, the four golden clothing pieces directly affect the price of the NFT. These golden Kigurumis are among the rarest types of attributes, with the Cat (0.05%) being the rarest. Azukis without clothing (0.05%) are also among the most expensive pieces of this collection, with an average price of 78.66 Ξ ($208,000).
The hair trait follows a similar pattern. Azukis with no hair (0.08%) or those hair designs specific to a spirit type outperformed the rest. Azukis without hair sold for 30.69 Ξ ($82,000) on average, while Spirit hairs sold between 42.7 Ξ ($116,000) and 76.5 Ξ ($210,000) respectively. Fire (0.22%) and Water (0.21%) hairs netted a 29 Ξ ($77,000) average price. The remaining hair attributes sold between 3.2 Ξ($9,000) and 15.2 Ξ ($40,000).
There is no clear correlation between sale price and the rest of the Azuki traits. However, specific attributes can impact the price. The Red Bean (0.4%),for instance, is an ear trait associated with the origin of this brand that netted 27.2 Ξ ($75,000) on average. The rest of the ear traits sold between 7.7 Ξ ($22,000) and 15.3 Ξ ($41,000).
The Golden Headphone (0.35%) outperforms the rest of the neck attributes by far, with an average sale price of almost 40 Ξ ($110,000). In contrast, the average trading price of the remaining neck attributes ranged between 7.65 Ξ ($22,000) and 16 Ξ ($44,000).
The Fire (0.57%), Lightning (0.46%), and Glowing (0.78%) eyes also appear to stand out from other eye attributes. These three types of eye sold for more than 18.4 Ξ ($50,000) on average, while other eye traits fetched prices between 6.9 Ξ ($20,000) and 12.4 Ξ ($34,000).
The background, mouth, headgear, and face attributes do not show a clear correlation with the price of an Azuki.
A brand for the metaverse
Chiru Labs have made their intentions for Azuki clear: to become a metaverse brand with the help of the community. This ethos gives Azuki a robust foundation. In the blockchain industry various metaverse-native brands have gained prominence. Think about Larva Labs and their CryptoPunks, Autoglyphs and Meebits collections, but also Yuga Labs and the Bored Ape Yacht Club. It’s not without reason that Nike acquired NFT fashion house RTFKT right after the CloneX collection launched. These metaverse companies become pop culture, fashion and collectibles all-in-one.
In real life, the utility of Azuki will come in the form of streetwear, collectibles, and exclusive events. Furthermore, the user-owned IP entitled to each Azuki owner offers a wide array of possibilities, including manga, video games, and even music labels. Along with the fashion aspect, these are substantial elements of the metaverse narrative.
Community in The Garden
The Garden is a corner of the internet where, according to Chiru Labs, art, community, and culture fuse to create magic. This digital space is built for the Azuki community and intends to host a DAO governed by their native BEAN token.
The social metrics of the collection are solid. Azuki has close to 200,000 followers on Twitter, and 80,000 Discord members. Both platforms are active and efficiently run. The project’s Discord server hosts conversations on various topics and is secured with mechanisms preventing scams and bot activity.
Furthermore, Azuki is a well distributed collection with more than 5,400 unique owners. The whale factor also shows a good distribution, with 4.11% owned by the top five holders (not considering the deployer contract) and 6.8% held by the top 10 wallets.
Azuki was quickly established as one of the most coveted collections in the NFT space and has proven to be a stellar acquisition for some. The detailed The anime-inspired skateboarders art style caused a massive spike in the project’s demand, creating a mini hype cycle in the anime NFT niche. The strong financial metrics go in hand with the project’s demand and have helped the floor price consolidate above 10 Ξ.
The trait and rarity distribution show the artists’ level of detail in these NFTs, making some of them really unique. It has become regular to see Azuki NFTs traded for more than 100 Ξ, with the highest sale of 204 Ξ or $596,000 ten days ago.
Overall, the project seems to check all the boxes of a successful NFT project. Although the mindmap lacks more tangible information, it feels like the project appropriately approaches the metaverse narrative. The fashion aspect is especially enticing. Although the entry barrier is already high, The Garden is poised to become a relevant space in the future of NFTs.