Azuki’s Week To Forget: The Elementals Mint

Despite NFT sentiment still being very much in the gutter for the most part, this week has been host to a number of very high profile and hyped mints taking place.

Wednesday saw CTRL launch with a stumble, failing to mint out. Conversely, the OMB Green Eyes mint is taking place right now and is looking set to sell out with ease. The dark horse of the pack, Bitcoin Whales, launches on the 30th, and after what seems like an eternity of delays, Ether is minting on the same day.

All of these are preceded by the Azuki Elementals mint which happened this past Tuesday amid much controversy.

“Check Your Mf’Ing Wallets”

Last week, Azuki unveiled a teaser for its Elementals collection during a party in Las Vegas. At the event, a portion of the 20,000 NFTs, inspired by the four elements of earth, fire, lightning, and water, were airdropped to existing Azuki NFT holders. This airdrop was announced via Zagabond’s famous “Check your wallets” line in a pre-recorded segment during the teaser. 

With the remaining NFTs scheduled to go on sale, lucky Azuki holders were set to get the first shot at minting an additional Elemental during a 10-minute window. Once that 10 minutes was up, holders of the BEANZ collection would be up and also have 10 minutes to mint. If there was any supply left over, the public would get their chance.

As it turns out, the public sale never happened. Azuki and BEANZ holders snapped up all of the Elementals within 15 minutes. Additionally, many Azuki and BEANZ holders were unable to mint the Elementals due to technical issues which plagued the minting site during that crucial 15 minute period. Predictably, holders who missed out were furious and took to Twitter to let it be known, sparking a response from Azuki Co-Founder, location tba:

What was lost in the noise of the anger was something far more concerning than holders unable to add to their already loaded bags.

The Elementals mint was billed as a gateway for new blood to enter the Azuki ecosystem. Pop quiz time: If half of the supply was airdropped to Azuki holders, and the other half was minted by Azuki and BEANZ holders – what percentage of the supply brought in outsiders?

That’s right, 0%. The mint structure on this basis alone was a horrific oversight. But, it was only the beginning of a bad day for the Azuki team.

The ‘Big’ Reveal

Minting issues happen frequently, and great projects like Azuki can recover in hours from something like this. Secondary sales were popping off nicely, and so it could be argued to an extent that the 0% fresh blood problem was being mitigated.

What was not great and very hard to be positive about, was the much anticipated art reveal. The reveal being……practically identical art to the main Azuki collection.

While Azuki artwork is inarguably second to none, this had very obvious negative implications for the main collection. Collectors could now own a PFP which was indistinguishable from the main collection for around 13 ETH less. That gap closed fast, with the market reacting as you would expect. Furious Azuki holders were mass selling off in a mixture of rage and panic, dropping the floor price to 8.5 ETH at its lowest.

Meanwhile, BEANZ dropped to around 0.6 ETH, and the Elementals collection touched 1.25 ETH down from the 2 ETH mint price in just a matter of hours after minting took place.

Not a great start by all accounts. The entire carry-on was so baffling that many – including yours truly – speculated that this surely could not be the finished product, and that a dynamic metadata change was incoming. After all, location tba signed off his tweet thread saying “we have an amazing reveal experience planned.”

As things stand today, the reveal has remained the same. However, ZAGABOND will be speaking to the community later this evening at 18:00 PST, where plans may be announced to change.

Final Thoughts

Azuki is undoubtedly a blue-chip project. The artwork is superb, the value has held nicely during the bear, and the community is vibrant and always represents their project well. In fact, I can’t recall meeting one Azuki holder I didn’t take a liking to.

However, it would be a lie to say this wasn’t the darkest time for The Garden since the ZAGABOND revelations of 2022. Much the same with that little pickle they found themselves in, most would fully expect Azuki to emerge from this hurdle even stronger than before yet again.

As a non-Azuki holder, I fully agree with my fellow Influencive contributor, Zehi.eth, on his perspective of the situation. Many outside of the project have taken the opportunity to poke fun and revel in this temporary misfortune of Azuki and its holders. It’s a short-sighted and emotional response that doesn’t help us as a collective, regardless of where your allegiances lie. 

Opinions expressed here are opinions of the Author. Influencive does not endorse or review brands mentioned; does not and cannot investigate relationships with brands, products, and people mentioned and is up to the Author to disclose. Accounts and articles may be professional fee-based.

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