A blog post from the creator of the collection has thrown the project into disarray.
Azuki is going through some serious tribulations as one of the projects founders revealed his dark history of mining rugs in the NFT space. Azuki is one of the most popular NFT collections in recent months. The project saw a stellar rise in popularity, which also caused the minimum prices to skyrocket. Recently, the team behind Azuki also released a later collection called Beanz. While this all sounds nice and cheery, some dark clouds have formed around the project. Interestingly, the turbulent period was started by none other than one of the project’s founders, Zagabond.
The Zagabond blog post that started it all
Zagabond is one of the main founding members of the Azuki project. On May 9, he published a detailed blog post describing his experience in the NFT and web3 spaces to date. Importantly, the text was very revealing about his previous involvement in various NFT projects.
It turns out that Zagabond was the driving force behind CryptoPhunks, Tendies, and CryptoZunks. According to the blog post, all of these were conceived as experiments, challenging the NFT space and the big names in it. Of course, the target was primarily Larva Labs, the creators of the original CryptoPunks.
One of the most important details highlighted in the blog post is that Zagabond left these three projects. According to him, CryptoPhunks was better suited as a community-governed project, which is why the team decided to leave. Tendies and CryptoZunks underperformed and apparently died of natural causes, at least according to Zagabond.
Still, the pattern is there. Zagabond and his team quickly moved on, leaving thousands of community members behind and jumping on to the next NFT project. Until today, when they are actively working on Azuki.
Azuki Price Volatility
After the release of the blog post, the NFT space erupted with reactions, but more on that later. Something interesting happened with the Azuki collection itself. Considering the rather controversial information shared in the Zagabond blog post, it’s no surprise that Azuki NFTs experienced some major price fluctuations.
In the last 24 hours, the Azuki price floor went from a high of 19.5 ETH to almost half as high as 11 ETH around noon on May 10. At the time of writing, the price floor has recovered to around 16 ETH. This is still lower than what Azuki went for before the Zagabond blog post.
Despite the volatile floor, activity on Azuki smart contracts spiked in the last 24 hours. Some people were quickly cleaning his bags. On the other hand, others took advantage of the drop in the price floor and acquired numerous Azuki NFTs. These have already appreciated in value.
This correlation is what caused an even greater avalanche of opinions on social networks. For starters, Zagabond’s blog post was controversial enough to start a conversation about Azuki. But then the crash and the traders who took advantage of it simply added oil to the fire and raised even more troubling questions. Did the founders publish this post with some dark purpose in mind? To boost commercial activity and, in turn, the generation of royalties? Time will tell.
Over the past 24 hours, Azuki generated $25.5 million in NFT transaction volume. The royalties for the collection have been set at 5%, which means that the team earned more than 1.2 million dollars in that period. You can follow the current performance of the collection here.
Unsurprisingly, the NFT community had a lot to say in the last 24 hours, and Azuki was the hottest topic. As celebrities like Steve Aoki publicly showed off their newly purchased Azuki NFTs, other members of crypto Twitter discussed the details revealed in Zagabond’s post.
East Twitter thread by aaalex.eth (owner of Phunk #9161) shed light on some other accusations related to the Azuki collection. In the thread, aaalex.eth details that Azuki Beanz metadata was allegedly leaked 5 hours before the mint, allowing bots and collectors to target rare NFTs. Furthermore, he points out that Zagabond and his team collected royalties from the three “failed” projects before leaving them.
Other Twitter user featured the fact that, despite Zagabond’s claims, all three of its projects went through the minting phase, with CryptoPhunks even being minted. Importantly, it appears that Zagabond was working on all of these collections simultaneously, which could also be considered a red flag.
Last but not least, a rather worrying detail also surfaced in Twitter threads after the blog post was released. Zagabond was allegedly posing as a woman named Amanda when she worked at CryptoZunks through this Twitter account, 0xMandy.
Several hours after these allegations surfaced, Zagabond posted on Discord that there was a team member named Liz who was actually the owner of the 0xMandy account. Still, there’s no way to be sure who’s right or wrong in this perplexing situation.
What’s next for Azuki?
An important note to make here is that there have been no official announcements from Team Azuki as of this writing. The last tweet on the official Twitter account is from May 7, as is the last post on the Discord announcement channel. Despite that, it seems that mods and the community are active on Discord.
Importantly, Zagabond is scheduled to appear in a Twitter Spaces live event later today. you can tune in here. Hopefully this event will shed some light on the allegations circulating on Twitter. Meanwhile, the Azuki price floor appears to be going in a positive direction, which should be a good sign for headlines.
To end on a lighter note, Azuki’s situation also became an inspiration for comic interpretations. Check out this hilarious video that links the Azuki drama to the current turbulent times for UST and their pin issues.
Stay tuned as DappRadar will continue to follow the drama unfolding around the Azuki Collection and its founders. You can get the latest NFT news by following the Twitter account and turn on notifications.