The meteoric rise in popularity of NFT collections has spurred unprecedented levels of interest in unique digital assets. Only a year ago, non-fungible tokens became the talk of the town with million-dollar auctions for digital artworks and apes. From the CryptoPunks collection to the Bored Ape Yacht Club, NFT collections have evolved in design and utility. 

Amidst the continuous flow of progress in the domain of NFTs, Azuki has introduced Physically Backed Token, an innovative concept for NFTs. It offers a significant improvement over existing models for the representation of physical assets as non-fungible tokens. How? The following discussion offers you an introduction to the Azuki NFT collection and its new Physical Backed Token. You can also learn about the working of physically backed tokens and their potential use cases. 

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Introduction to Azuki Project

The first thing you need to learn before exploring insights on Azuki PBT would refer to the basics of the Azuki project. Azuki is a PFP or profile picture NFT collection with 10,000 NFTs featuring themes inspired by anime art. The rise of Azuki to the higher ranks of popularity has been marked by interesting lore, unparalleled hype a controversy. Azuki project arrived in the NFT arena in January 2022 and has successfully become one of the top players in the PFP NFT market. Some of the factors, such as a complex roadmap, hype by influencers and the high mint price, painted the Azuki project as an exclusive endeavor. 

The project’s creators had claimed that it would offer one of the biggest decentralized metaverses in control of the community. However, Azuki turned out to be one of the formidable entries in the NFT space with exceptional growth. On the other hand, the project’s founder was associated with controversial and failed NFT projects, thereby raising eyebrows about Azuki. The project recovered from the malicious allegations and had come up with a revolutionary concept for the NFT landscape. 

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What Do Users Get in Azuki?

The core design of Azuki features 10,000 generative avatars NFTs, with a random selection of attributes. One of the striking aspects of the Azuki project refers to the design of the PFP NFTs, which feature anime-inspired artwork. The NFTs look like a blend of stylish traits in the popular skateboarding magazine Thrasher and the action-based role-playing game, The World Ends with You. 

The basic overview of the details regarding the Azuki project would help you familiarize yourself with the PBT it has introduced recently. In the initial stages, Azuki had planned to launch its token through a Dutch auction model. According to the Dutch auction model, the NFT sale would begin at a specific amount and would gradually lower before reaching the final sale price. The initial mint price for Azuki was 1 ETH, with the assumption that it would reduce by 0.05 ETH at an interval of 20 minutes. 

Interestingly, the collection never crossed the first price reduction, as it sold out completely within three minutes at the mint price of 1 ETH. While influencer hype and support drove many of these sales, the project’s roadmap presented promising opportunities. Collectors focused on the facility of community support alongside the capital garnered through the primary sale as an element of trust. 

The public sale of the Azuki token involved 8700 NFTs with a mint price of 1 ETH, thereby leading to the collection of more than $29 million in the sale. One day later, Azuki announced its private whitelist sale with an unknown number of NFTs at a mint price of 0.5 ETH. The team was able to raise almost $2 million in the private whitelist sale, thereby strengthening the trust of collectors. 

Over the course of the next few weeks following the launch of the Azuki NFT collection, it garnered around $300 million in secondary sales throughout different NFT marketplaces. The momentous growth of Azuki in the early days fuelled the brand’s popularity as well as the prices of Azuki NFTs.

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Creators behind Azuki Project

The answers to ‘What is Azuki PBT‘ would also call for clarity regarding the founders of the project. Chiru Labs, a team of developers and artists with a diverse range of expertise in technology, gaming, and crypto, have created the project. The prominent members of the group have pseudonymous identities such as HoshiBoy, 2pm.flow and location tba. The leader of the team, Zagabond, is an ex-big tech entrepreneur. Azuki project has the vision for expanding beyond the identity of a regular PFP NFT project. 

Radical Growth in Popularity

Another important highlight that underlines the introduction of the Azuki Physically Backed Token would refer to the staggering growth in popularity. The common assumption in the world of NFTs is that successful projects are more likely to achieve more success. With a new project like Azuki and the hype around it, the value of the project could be sustained for a longer time. Interestingly, Azuki has capitalized on the dynamics of NFT secondary sales with a 5% royalty fee for all Azuki NFTs. The royalty fee helped Chiru Labs generate additional income in terms of millions after their initial public sale. 

The next prominent factor underlying the popularity of the Azuki token collection focuses on the aesthetic grandeur of the project. As a matter of fact, the project’s visual appeal might have been one of the formidable inspirations for the larger NFT community to notice the Azuki project. On top of it, the Chiru Labs team had also announced many massive plans for future advancements in the project. For example, the project planned to include merchandise, 3D experiences, and exhibitions. 

At the same time, it also pointed out the possibilities for introducing a native token, $BEAN, which served as the foundation of the Azuki PBT concept. Azuki also showed foresight by creating The Garden, or the collectors’ community, which would receive new additions to the brand before anyone else. Azuki non-fungible token owners could access exclusive airdrops, live events, streetwear collaborations, and many other perks. 

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The controversy around Azuki Project

The seemingly unstoppable journey of the Azuki project apparently ran into some troubles in early May 2022. The head of the team, Zagabond, published the details about his previous failed projects in a blog post. Some of the projects were considered rug pull schemes by the NFT community. Many other allegations affected the social sentiment toward the Azuki project within the community, and the floor price of the project started dropping. The situation worsened further for Zagabond when he tried to offer unsatisfying explanations for the allegations against him. However, he ultimately offered an apology statement through Twitter and has been one of the integral components in developing the Azuki brand. 

The Second Phase

The controversial allegations halted the progress of the Azuki project for a few months. However, the impending arrival of the PBT concept had some different plans in mind. The project launched one of the largest additions to the Azuki Beanz collection. Owners of original Azuki NFTs received the new NFTs through an airdrop without any additional costs. The Beanz collection served an important role in expanding the brand without reducing the 10,000 supply limit. You can find similarities between the Beanz collection and Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFTs with Bored Apes. 

The Azuki Beanz NFT collection featured almost 20,000 NFTs, which played a crucial role in reducing the barriers to entry for the Azuki ecosystem. As a result, it offered an easy avenue for beginners alongside improving the potential for future utility. The Beanz NFT owners also received access to a holders-only Discord channel on the Azuki server alongside eligibility for all Azuki merchandise drops in the future. 

The Azuki NFT collection not only plans on expanding on-chain but is also aimed at off-chain utilities. Azuki aims to develop its unique metaverse experience with live interactive multimedia experiences, comics, animation, games, and community rewards. However, the plans of Azuki for expansion in off-chain media encountered a prominent setback. The lack of a bridge between the digital world of the metaverse and real-world interaction by users presents a notable barrier. 

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Physical Backed Tokens

The background of the Azuki project offers a clear impression regarding the potential factors underlying the origins of physically backed tokens. The concept of a Physically Backed Token introduces an open-source token standard for connecting a physical asset to a digital token on Ethereum

Physical-backed tokens help brands and creators in developing a new approach to storytelling alongside new experiences for communities. The creation of digital tokens for representing physical objects is not a new concept. You must have noticed many examples of physical assets, such as artwork represented as NFTs on blockchain networks. 

With the help of the PBT standard, digital tokens could be linked to physical assets throughout the asset’s lifespan. It offers decentralized authentication alongside tracking for the full lineage of ownership of physical items. The physically backed token could work completely on-chain without the need for centralized servers. As a matter of fact, PBTs are the first to offer credible trustless authentication. It allows complete flexibility for everyone to develop, authenticate, and validate experiences with PBTs. 

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Working of Azuki Physical Backed Token 

The Azuki Physical Backed Token is a groundbreaking innovation for the Azuki project. You can understand ‘what is Azuki PBT‘ in detail by reflecting on its working. Apparently, the best way to understand the workings of Azuki physically backed tokens would focus on the problems it aims to resolve. The previous models of representing physical assets through digital tokens on blockchains separated the token and the asset after minting. Therefore, the representation of digital ownership for physical assets faced two significant problems such as,

  • NFTs could not serve as the proxy for the physical assets they represent. The existing NFT scenario differentiates NFTs and real-world items as distinct elements. According to the existing model, the NFT for a physical item is subject to trading on digital marketplaces. 
  • Another notable issue in the existing model for representing physical assets as NFTs is the need for verification. Physical items need verification from trusted authorities to prove their authenticity. 

Azuki PBT resolved these problems through on-chain tracking of NFT ownership and decentralized authentication for physical assets. The physical assets in the physically backed token model feature a ‘BEAN’ chip which helps in the authentication of NFT ownership. At the same time, the PBT standard itself would help in the decentralized tracking of ownership. If owners of a physical item want to sell the item, the buyer could follow the ‘scan-to-own’ process. Buyers can gain PBTs by scanning the physical asset. 

The Bean Chip enables the ‘scan-to-own’ experience and is an integral component in the working of physically backed tokens. It is a Blockchain-Enabled Authentication Network chip that creates an asymmetric key pair on its own. Physical-backed token owners could mint or transfer PBTs to different wallets by scanning the chip on the item. The Physically Backed Azuki token would be directly linked with the physical item through authentication. The token would be stored in the preferred crypto wallet of the owner, thereby granting ownership of PBTs to the owners of physical items.

Benefits of Physical Backed Tokens

The final highlight in the introduction to Azuki’s Physically Backed Token would refer to their benefits. As of now, some of the expected use cases of physically backed tokens have shown promising potential. PBTs can enable decentralized authentication for physical items by scanning them alongside tracking the ownership trail of physical assets. Furthermore, physically backed tokens could also support the development of new and immersive digital experiences for users with physical products. 

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Bottom Line

The origins of the Azuki NFT collection and their attempts at introducing physically backed tokens offer favorable prospects for NFTs. Representation of physical assets and asset transfer could become simpler with the use of PBTs. At the same time, decentralized tracking of ownership lineage also offers better credibility in the physically backed token ecosystem. 

These advantages can not only fuel the growth of Azuki PBTs but can also set the benchmarks for many new projects. The long-term vision of the Azuki project also implies prospects for discovering new utilities with PBTs in the future. Learn more about NFTs and become a certified NFT professional now.

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*Disclaimer: The article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide any investment advice. Claims made in this article do not constitute investment advice and should not be taken as such. 101 Blockchains shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this article. Do your own research!