The Non-Fungible Token (NFT) space is growing in all directions. NFTs are not only being used for digital art but also to give out tickets or certificates.
Every now and then, some new project comes up with a new use case. NFT is an authentication technology that can be used in various industries. As a token, an NFT does not have any intrinsic value. Rather, it derives the value from the asset it backs. NFTs can only authenticate the ownership of an asset.
Azuki is another NFT project which has brought a different concept to the NFT space with its mesmerizing digital images. It has positioned itself as one of the blue-chip NFT collections within just a few months of launch.
The collection has two different categories of NFTs with different utilities. Moreover, it is unlike traditional NFT projects with just images. Azuki is rather a collection of 10,000 avatars.
Features of Azuki
The project has 10 thousand NFTs that feature anime like avatars like samurais and skateboarders. Owners of these NFTs will get “membership access to The Garden: a corner of the internet where artists, builders, and web3 enthusiasts meet to create a decentralized future” as defined by the project.
An anime lover may get immediately enthralled by these Azuki NFTs. There are two categories of NFTs under this project, Azukis and BEANZ. Azukis are human like characters with different traits such as hair, background, clothes, headgear, etc.
On the other hand, BEANZ are defined as “a small species that sprouts from the dirt in the garden. They make for a great sidekick to an Azuki, although some like to kick it alone. They're earnestly driven by the desire to help.” There are 20 thousand BEANZ in the collection. Only 19,950 are available to the public. The remaining 50 BEANZ are reserved for future collaborations. Both these NFTs can be paired to form a sidekick partner for an Azuki. Combining them will not update the metadata or change either NFT.
Metadata is the information about an asset backed by an NFT. The NFT code contains information about an HTTP URL on the internet, or perhaps to an InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) hash which hosts the file. So basically, NFTs reference a file that is stored somewhere else, as the asset is not stored on a blockchain. Only the metadata is there on the blockchain. The owner of an NFT just owns the metadata of a file that points to the asset.
How to Purchase Azuki
Anyone can make a secondary purchase on OpenSea. The current floor price of an Azuki is 14 ETH, and the total volume traded stands at over 240 thousand ETH. On the very first day itself, the volume of trading was over 4727 ETH at an average price of 1.9 ETH.
The original minting auction took place on January 12, with the last phase culminating on January 15 as a public sale. During this sale, Azukis were sold for 1 ETH each.
Since then, Azuki has climbed the ladder at a skyrocketing pace as it ranks 6th among all NFT collections by trading volume. It has carved a niche of its own among the industry icons. BEANZ collection, on the other hand, has a floor price of 1.7 ETH and has achieved a trading volume of over 61.1 thousand ETH as of now.
The owners of an NFT from the collection can display your Azuki NFT or use it as a profile picture for non-Commercial Use. Moreover, they get commercial use rights as long as Azuki Trademarks are not used.
However, if an Azuki NFT is a product of a collaboration between the project and a third party, and it contains content not owned by the project, in that case, the NFT owner cannot use that specific Azuki NFT for Commercial Use. The owner will need explicit consent from Chiru Labs (the creator of Azuki NFTs) and the third party.
Still, an owner can monetize the NFT through merchandise, advertisements, etc., while abiding by the clauses. Along with that, the official website describes that Azuki NFT owners will be provided with several benefits including exclusive streetwear collabs, NFT drops, live events, and much more that will be revealed over time.
The roadmap for the project has 7 stages.
As of now, stage 2 is partially complete. Stage 1 just defined the vision and values the project aims to realize.
Currently, the project is working on Azuki Grants and Community Spaces. Azuki Grants will provide monetary assistance to builders, artists, and creatives to pursue their passion. Right now, Azuki is working on the legal framework and application process.
As for the Community Spaces, they will be forums to grow and strengthen the community. An important development within the project is ‘Bobu Fractionalization’. Azuki #40 (Bobu) will be deposited into a fractional.art Vault. This Vault will create ERC-1155 tokens so that all holders of Bobu Fractions can participate in collective governance over Bobu's character, a key character in the Azuki universe. The Vault will distribute the “transfer and sell” decision power into Fractions. These Fractions can be purchased by anyone who wishes to participate in the IP governance. This will democratize and decentralize the governance of the project.
The team is also building a game “with mass market appeal and scalability.” They may also work on metaverse in future and also build “the largest decentralized brand for the metaverse that is built and owned by the community.”
Moreover, some meet-ups, exhibits, and music festivals are in pipeline. The most promising milestone would be the launch of the $BEAN token which would be used in the Azuki-verse.
Team Behind Azuki
The core team of the project is Chiru Labs. It consists of people with extensive experience in crypto and art. Most of the core team members are based in Los Angeles. They mostly keep their identity anonymous.
One of the team members goes by the name Zagabond. Another member named “location tba” is a former software engineer at Facebook (now Meta).
Chiru Labs has two other main members called 2pm.flow and Hoshiboy. Recently, Azuki was in the news when Zagabond revealed about their previous projects that failed to take off including CryptoPhunks, Tendies, and Cryptozunks.
Scores of NFT projects are launched every month. But few survive the ordeals of the market. Many see NFTs as speculative assets. Only the ones possessing some intrinsic value will be able to survive.
Azuki has an experienced team with a detailed roadmap. Furthermore, the NFT images are well crafted with intricate designs reminiscent of Japanese anime, unlike many others with pixelated images with no underlying value or use case other than trading. The project is experimenting with use cases such as access to exclusive clubs, metaverse, games, and decentralized governance. It has captured the ground well by placing itself among the top 10 NFT collections of all time.
The launch of its native token could prove to be a game changer, especially when paired with the game and metaverse. Additionally, it stresses upon community participation and will reward the for their work through the grants program. That's why it also pushes for decentralized governance, which may also keep the team accountable.
In the future, Azuki might be completely driven by the community. The project is exploring various governance structures, especially the governance model of Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO). DAOs don’t have a promoter or centralized teams. They function through community participation in governance proceedings, which has a positive prospect.