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Azuki

Azuki is a profile picture (PFP) collection of 10,000 anime inspired avatars that enables holders to participate in exclusive drops, experiences, and grants them access to The Garden, a space integrated by artists, builders, and enthusiasts. Azuki is a generative project, where each NFT is created by randomly selecting traits. [1]

Overview

Launched on January 12, 2022, the Azuki NFT collection consists of 10,000 avatars, each with unique appearances determined by 13 trait categories and 469 traits. Some traits are more scarce than others, making Azukis with those traits more valuable. The four types of Azukis are Human, Blue, Red, and Spirit, with Human being the most common and therefore generally costing less, while the rarer Spirit type commands higher prices, as there are only 97 of them, making up less than 1% of the total collection. These NFTs are minted on the , and can be bought and sold using ETH on NFT marketplaces and stored in NFT wallets. Its anime-inspired artwork has been described as a blend of the 3D action role-playing game The World Ends with You and the style of the iconic skateboarding magazine Thrasher. [2][3]
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History

The Azuki collection launched with a public sale of 8700 NFTs of their collection on January 12, 2022, in a Dutch auction which sold out in four minutes, generating 8,700 in revenue valued at around $29 million at the time. The initial mint price was 1 ETH, set to decline by 0.05 ETH every 20 minutes until the price reached 0.15 ETH, but Azuki mint price never dropped below 1 ETH since the collection sold out before it could reach its first price reduction. [2][3]

BEANZ Collection

wikiAzuki NFT holders were given mysterious boxes in the form of NFTs through an on April 1, 2022. Later, it was revealed in May that these boxes were part of the company's new collection called . [3][4]

“Introducing BEANZ: a small species that sprout from dirt in the garden. Being a sidekick is in their DNA, although some like to kick it alone. They’re earnestly driven by the desire to help. However, certain BEANZ feel a calling to pave their own path.” - Azuki Team

Azuki’s Twitter Hack

Azuki’s official Twitter account was hacked on January 27, 2023, where the hackers tweeted a scam link asking followers to “claim land” in The Garden. Although the was fake, the links directed unaware users to a "drainer" contract that tricked them into authorizing a transaction that swiped assets from their wallets. A total of $750,000 worth of , 11 , and over 3.9 were stolen. [12][13][14]
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Elementals Controversy

On June 27, the Elementals event took place according to schedule at 12 p.m. ET. The minting process was divided into two phases, with holders of NFTs from the original Azuki collection given the first opportunity to mint, followed by holders of Beanz NFTs at 12:10 p.m. ET. [16]

However, while some Azuki holders were pleased with the proceedings, many others expressed frustration at their inability to secure an Elemental despite being punctual. The lack of a cap on individual minting allowed one user to acquire 332 Elementals during the presale, preventing many Beanz holders from participating. [16]

Furthermore, the release of Elementals faced criticism due to striking similarities to the original Azuki collection. This led to concerns about the dilution of the Azuki brand and speculation about the traits and value of the new . [16][17][18]

“So Azuki just diluted their holders with the same art on their Elementals drop LMAO. It minted out between Azuki and Beanz holders, so not even new holders, the team took $40M from its community and on people complain about $100 mints.” - @DSentralized

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Community Vote for ETH Refund

In response to the controversy surrounding the Elementals NFT minting, AzukiDAO proposed a community vote on July 2, 2023, to address the concerns and potentially refund 20,000 to affected participants. [20]

AzukiDAO's proposal suggests that the refunded funds would come from the founder's personal wallet, specifically from , one of the founders. The proposal outlines the process for distributing the refunded ETH and includes options such as a proportional refund, a lottery-based refund, or a combination of both. [20]

The outcome of the community vote will be determined through a transparent and democratic process. It remains to be seen whether the community will support the proposed ETH refund and which distribution method will be favored. [20]

Team's Response

AzukiDAO quickly responded to the community's concerns, addressing the situation on Twitter less than a day after the Elementals mint had begun. They acknowledged their mistakes, stating, "This time, we missed the mark," and recognized the chaotic minting process and the perceived similarities and dilution of the Azuki brand. [16][21]

Azuki, It's always both challenging & exciting opening up the gate to the Garden. This time, we missed the mark. We hear you - the mint process was hectic, the PFPs feel similar and, even worse, dilutive to Azuki.

Despite the setbacks, AzukiDAO shared their vision for Elementals, explaining that the collection aimed to welcome new members into the community, expand the Azuki universe, and pave the way for a new type of anime that was already in production. They concluded their message with a teaser, revealing an image of a green bean accompanied by a cryptic message, hinting at a potential surprise collection in the future. [16][22]
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Hilumia

On the one-year anniversary of its launch, Azuki announced the release of Hilumia, a metaverse city built by the Azuki community. Within Hilumia, users can explore diverse locations, including Slowpoke's Toy Haven, Ember Square, Golden Skate Park, and Garden Express. Each of these locations promises to offer a distinct and engaging experience. Furthermore, attention has been given to the music and sound effects in each world, aiming to enhance the immersive nature of the environment. [6][7]
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Physical Backed Token (PBT)

The team released physical backed tokens (PBT), which is a type of digital token that is linked to a physical item and built on the blockchain. Azuki announced on its Twitter that these tokens would use the BEAN Chip, a physical cryptographic chip, for the initial implementation of the PBT. This combination of the PBT and the BEAN Chip will include a "scan to own" feature. [5]

“Scanning the chip with your phone allows for the PBT to be minted or digitally transferred to the owner’s wallet. This allows the current owner of a physical item to also own the PBT, which verifiably authenticates the item and ties the item to a digital token in the wallet of their choosing.” - Azuki Team

The PBT aims to provide decentralized authentication and a complete on-chain record of ownership for physical items, without a centralized server, thereby creating a trustless authentication system. [5]

Golden Skateboard Collection

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This collection consists of a series of nine golden skateboards with a 24k gold-plated deck, which were displayed at Hong Kong’s K11 Musea Mall. These skateboards are linked to PBTs, which enables the verification of ownership of physical items on-chain through the users' cellphones. According to Chiru Labs, they use a "cryptographic BEAN chip" embedded in each skateboard that can be scanned by owners like an NFC chip to prove ownership. [9][10]

“We like to plant at the intersection of digital and physical. With PBT, we want to create an open standard that people can create implementations and experiences on top of” Zagabond

The auction of the Golden Skateboards took place on October 21, 2022. After the auction, the NFTs for skateboard redemption were minted to the winners, who later were able to redeem and burn the NFTs to claim the physical skateboard. The highest bid for the skateboards was over $400,000, while the lowest was $260,000. In total, 145 bids took place throughout the auction. [11][15]

Bobu the Bean Farmer & Token

Bobu the Bean Farmer

Bobu the Bean Farmer is an experiment in decentralized intellectual property (IP) developed by Chiru Labs. As part of the Azuki NFT ecosystem, the character Azuki #40, also known as Bobu, holds a significant role. Bobu the Bean Farmer represents a key figure in the Azuki universe, and the character's development is governed by the Bobu Token. [2]
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Bobu Token

The Bobu Token serves as the within the Azuki ecosystem. There are 11,244 Bobu Tokens in existence, and holders of these tokens gain access to closed Discord channels, proposal voting, and other surprises within the Azuki community. These tokens are ERC-1155 tokens, linked to Bobu the Bean Farmer. [2][23]

To facilitate this governance experiment, Azuki #40 (Bobu) will be deposited into a fractional.art Vault, creating ERC-1155 tokens. As a Bobu Token holder, users can participate in collective governance over Bobu's character, contributing to decisions related to Bobu's development and potential future projects. The tokens themselves are not meant for trading but are utilized as an internal rewards system and for participatory purposes within the Azuki community. [23]

Owning a Bobu Token grants users the power to vote on proposals concerning Bobu, such as aspects of his lore, the use of funds from sales, merchandising decisions, and potential media projects featuring Bobu. These tokens represent a way to decentralize decision-making, with the ultimate goal of fully entrusting the management of Bobu's IP to the Azuki community. [23]

Team

The creation of Azuki is credited to Chiru Labs, a team of artists and developers based in Los Angeles who have expertise in the fields of , technology, and gaming. The group, consisting of pseudonymous members 2pm.flow, location tba, HoshiBoy, and led by former big tech entrepreneur , aims for Azuki to be more than just a PFP project and plans to expand the Azuki brand into various sectors. [8]

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