Elementals is the third collection of the Azuki ecosystem. Mint was highly anticipated but the drop left the community enraged
In this edition of DappRadar’s New Dapps Report, we look at ‘Azuki Elementals’, one of the most anticipated NFT collections of this season, that turned out to be a huge fail. The New Dapps Report serves as a deep analysis of trading metrics for NFT collections with a strong appeal.
This New Dapps Report is an executive report providing readers with a high-level perspective of generative NFT collections. The report focuses on financial metrics, including sales activity, price analysis, and distribution metrics like Unique Holders Ratio and Whale Concentration Index. It additionally dives into whales’ behavioral patterns and social and technical overviews.
Elementals is a collection of 20,000 procedurally generated NFT avatars launched on 27 June 2023. It is inspired by the anime-influenced animated television series Avatar The Last Airbender, taking holders in a deep dive into the Azuki universe lore. It thrives on Asian culture and maximizes the storytelling potential of what currently is one of the most powerful brands in Web3.
The team announced the project only three days before launch during a bear market within the NFT space. Post-minting, the Azuki ecosystem was questioned when the unremarkable NFT collection fell far short of community expectations.
Please do not consider this document as financial advice.
Table of Contents
- Key Takeaways
- Trading Overview
- Social Awareness and Engagement
- Team Overview
- Whale Wallet Analysis
- Technical Overview
- Azuki Elementals dropped on 27 June and sold out in 16 minutes to Azuki and BEANZ holders. The mint never reached its public sale stage and raised over 20,000 ETH ($38 million) within the community.
- Elementals became the second most-traded collection in the first 24 hours after launching, with a trading volume of over $13 million.
- The highly anticipated new Azuki collection showed little innovation regarding NFT art and utility, looking too much like the original Azukis for a much lower price – Azukis’ floor price dropped to 10 ETH while Elementals minted at 2 ETH.
- In the first 24 hours, Elementals’ floor price dropped by 30%. Floor prices for Azuki also fell by 34% and BEANZ by 50%.
Azuki Elementals – Floor price depreciated by 30%
Trading Overview – downslide despite optimist prospects
- Blockchain: Ethereum
- Launch date: 27 June 2023
- Edition size: 20,000
- Traits: 14
- Floor price at mint: 2 ETH ($3,700)
Despite the preceding anticipation and buzz within the community prior to its release, Elementals has been displaying a dismal financial performance. The market conditions have been challenging, influenced by adverse macroeconomic trends and declining NFT prices.
Since the announcement on 24 June about the Elementals launch on 27 June, the Azuki collection stood out as one of the few blue-chip collections showing growth in both volume and floor prices. The high-quality teaser trailer for Elementals sparked optimism in the NFT space, but things ended up falling flat.
At the time of minting, which was arranged such that only Azuki and BEANZ holders could purchase Elementals in the first 20 minutes for 2 ETH, the Twitter community began expressing their resentment towards the Azuki project. Community members started labeling it a scam for launching a collection that, in some cases, looked exactly like the original Azukis. It appeared that the expectations had been set far too high. The visual quality of the new Elementals brought nothing innovative to the community. In fact, distinguishing between Elementals and Azukis is a challenge. This could potentially devalue Azuki, as people might opt for the cheaper profile picture (PFP) that closely resembles the 10 ETH blue-chip one.
Despite the Elementals collection boasting a total volume of over $13 million, the floor price and average sale prices began to plummet as soon as community dissatisfaction began to surface. The price dropped from 2 ETH to 1.77 ETH at the time of writing, even hitting an all-time low of 1.51 ETH a few hours after minting.
Similarly, the floor prices for Azuki also dipped by 34% (8.39ETH or $15,610), and BEANZ fell by 50% (0.6 ETH or $1,110) by the time of writing.
Several collectors who had held Azuki NFTs for months decided to liquidate their tokens following the launch of Elementals. The highest Azuki sale of the past 24h is an example. Azuki #3169 was sold yesterday for 38 ETH ($70,985) after the collector held it for 17 months.
From the graph, it’s clear that the average price dipped sharply following the minting and hasn’t approached that level since.
However, the trading activity has not been declining, so until it stabilizes, we won’t be able to tell what this means to Azuki.
Utility – a possible connection to the Azuki metaverse
As a related initiative to the Azuki collection, the Elementals collection aligns with the same roadmap as the larger ecosystem. To date, the brand has debuted several projects and immersive experiences within its universe. However, the physical-backed tokens (PBT), introduced in November 2022, deserve special mention.
While Elementals may leverage this feature in the future, it’s primarily anticipated that the Hilumia metaverse city and the Garden (the Azuki universe), guided by the motto “One Garden. Four Domains”, will gain from Elementals to enhance the narrative and lore of their NFTs. Additionally, Azuki has drafted an ambitious project plan, encompassing physical merchandise in streetwear with PBT, a record label fostering emerging artists, real-life events, and the proposed BEAN token.
Azuki has been consistently meeting the benchmarks they established back in January 2022. Elementals, an unexpected addition to this roadmap, is expected to play a significant role in future utilities, though no official information regarding Elementals NFTs is available at the time of writing. While the exact role of Elementals remains unclear, it’s likely that the collection will be integrated into the broader project, conferring unique benefits to Elementals holders.
Social Awareness and Engagement – strong community vs the angry mob
Elementals shares its Discord server with Azuki and BEANZ, currently home to 100,067 active users. The server sustains activity around the clock, fostering a robust community presence.
Similarly, Elementals shares its Twitter account with Azuki. Since its launch in August 2021, the account has amassed 349,900 followers.
However, the conversations that ensued within the Azuki community on Twitter regarding the new Elementals collection were largely negative. Numerous individuals raised concerns that their original Azuki NFTs would depreciate in value given the striking similarity of the new Elementals to their original Azuki NFTs. There was widespread displeasure and incredulity about how the brand could sanction a project that seemingly undermined their own interests.
A day after the mint and responding to the community’s displeasure, the team published an apologetic thread on the Azuki official Twitter account. They recognized they “missed the mark” and that “the mint process was hectic, the PFPs feel similar and, even worse, dilutive to Azuki.”
“Our goal for Elementals is to grow the Garden, welcome new members into the community, and most importantly to expand the Azuki universe and set a foundation for a decentralized IP with deep lore. One that enables us to create a new type of anime that’s already under production.”
While on one hand the Azuki team opened up more about the goals with Elementals and recognized it turned out as a “new collection which confused the community on the tangible differences with the original Azuki collection”, it did not address art duplicates or provide any tangible explanation on how to sustain Azuki’s value over time.
Team Overview – is Zagabond’s rug past revealing a comeback?
Chiru Labs, the team responsible for the creation of Elementals, also stands behind Azuki and BEANZ. The Azuki team comprises many former professionals from major tech companies, including Facebook, Google, and Activision Blizzard. The team lead, Zagabond, is an ex-Big Tech professional.
However, in May 2022, Azuki’s team faced substantial backlash from the community following the public revelation that Zagabond, a co-founder of the project, had previously engaged in three NFT projects, only to abandon them. This disclosure led to a considerable loss of confidence in Azuki among the community, accompanied by fears that its notable success was merely a prelude to a deceptive scam.
Despite this, Azuki weathered the storm and, until now, has evolved to be a pivotal force within the Web3 domain. There was speculation within the NFT space whether the introduction of the Elementals collection and the unveiling of the Hilumia world in early 2023 would thrust Azuki above competitors such as Yuga Labs and its Bored Apes.
Whale Wallet Analysis
At present, the Azuki Elementals collection boasts a Unique Holders Ratio of 40%, which signifies a less-than-ideally distributed collection. A greater number of unique holders reduces the possibility of any conspiracy among the holders. All Elementals that were not initially airdropped to Azuki holders were minted within 16 minutes and a significant number of them are now available for purchase across various marketplaces.
The whale concentration in this collection is among the highest we’ve scrutinized, with a noteworthy emphasis on 10 minters who invested $7.8 million to acquire 20.3% of the supply on the launch day. The most active minter, Luggis, spent more than $1.5 million solely on their Elementals. Check out some of the main whales, their wallets, and their investment in Elementals below:
- Luggis – 814 ETH
- Christian2022 – 742 ETH
- suicide.eth – 272 ETH
- imnotfuckingselling – 254 ETH
- dingaling – 244 ETH
A concentration of whales, or significant stakeholders, implies a heightened risk of price manipulation by prominent collectors. This also augments the risk of a mass sell-off if these major holders decide to offload their assets, often triggering a domino effect that compels many smaller traders to follow suit. As such, we always encourage potential investors to proceed with due diligence and a thorough understanding of these risks.
Similar to numerous NFT initiatives, Azuki Elementals archives its metadata utilizing IPFS, as opposed to being completely on-chain. This situation presents a recurrent hurdle for projects rich in visual metadata, given the separation of smart contracts and metadata. However, there are no substantial issues from a technical perspective.
- Audit status: no audits performed yet
- Storage: Azuki Elementals NFTs are stored as ERC-721 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain, and visuals are hosted on IPFS for immutable ownership.
- Contract address: 0xB6a37b5d14D502c3Ab0Ae6f3a0E058BC9517786e
The success of Azuki hasn’t been mirrored in the performance of Elementals, which has been considerably weak in this market. Despite being the 6th most traded collection in the past seven days, with a post-mint volume exceeding $13 million, the floor price failed to maintain the 2 ETH mark from minting. Not even the 20,000 ETH raised by the community at mint can change the fact that If Azuki doesn’t have a series of solid product deliveries with such a huge amount of money, it’s gonna hurt its community confidence severely.
Moreover, the floor price has settled at 1.4 ETH, marking a 30% drop from the mint floor price, while the average price held up at 2.05 ETH, a 3.5% increase. There were some high-valued sales, such as that of the Elemental #18924 for 36 ETH / $67,072, but current market sentiment disagrees with the buyer’s judgment.
At launch, Azuki Elementals didn’t offer robust utility, leading to confusion within the community about the value of the original Azuki collection. This could potentially jeopardize the entire ecosystem, though it’s too early to make a definitive statement.
As a part of the Azuki project, it’s highly probable that Elementals will be integrated with the other utilities. If this occurs, it could bolster the demand for this collection – unless the entire ecosystem collapses.