Contributor, Benzinga
November 30, 2022

Want to be able to find great NFT projects like Azuki before they become blue chips? Check out Benzinga’s NFT PRO Newsletter today to get 5 of the best opportunities in NFTs every single week!

In recent years, the non-fungible token (NFT) sector has exploded in popularity – garnering support from star athletes, celebrities and investors such as Stephen Curry, Snoop Dogg and Mark Cuban. This growth is attributed to the way in which NFTs revolutionize the control and monetization of personal data, creating countless opportunities to disrupt industries such as IP, gaming and music.

Despite the long-term promise of NFTs, 2022 has been a bloody year for the industry. The floor prices and native currencies that denote the value of the NFTs have plummeted, causing many investors to exit the NFT market. However, times of unprecedented fear and pessimism often turn out to be extraordinary opportunities to accumulate an asset at fair prices.

A potential gem nestled under the ashes of the current fire sale is the Azuki NFT project. Azuki was one of the hottest projects in early 2022 and has continued to build and develop its community despite the recent bear market. The following discussion will provide an overview of Azuki and why it could be a good investment.

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What is Azuki NFT?

Azuki is a digital brand that is associated with its collection of 10,000 avatars. Each digital avatar is a unique, hand-drawn NFT. Azuki NFTs are minted on the Ethereum blockchain and are bought and sold with Ether (ETH) on NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea and stored in NFT wallets such as MetaMask. 

 All Azuki NFTs have different traits regarding background, hair, clothes and wearables – some Azukis hold a skateboard, swords, a cup of coffee or a Boombox. The NFTS are based on 13 trait categories and 469 traits that determine the appearance of each Azuki NFT. Some traits are rarer than others, and Azuki NFTs with rarer traits are typically more valuable.

Chiru Labs is the startup behind Azuki NFTs and is composed of a diverse team with experience in crypto, gaming and art that joined forces to create a recognizable brand in the metaverse. The team is highly secretive about who they are and their previous experiences. 

Pseudonymous creator Zagabond told Forbes, “there's a mystique and magic and allure to something where the project isn’t really about our identities and our past experiences.” That said, there are a few doxxed members. Credited as a co-creator is Arnold Tsang – a well-known conceptual artist that has worked with Overwatch (an American video game produced by Activision Blizzard). 

How to Buy Azuki NFT

Azukies can be purchased from OpenSea – the world’s first and largest digital marketplace for NFTs. However, you’ll need to take a few important preceding steps before purchasing directly from OpenSea. 

Sign up for an exchange account to buy Ether (ETH). The amount of ETH you need to purchase will depend on the price floor or the listed ask price for the Azuki you are buying. You should purchase a bit more ETH than you need for the transaction fees that you will pay when transferring ETH to a wallet and making the transaction on OpenSea.

ETH can be purchased using any major cryptocurrency exchange such as Gemini, eToro or Uphold. The next step is setting up a browser wallet such as MetaMask. MetaMask is free to use and can be set up in a matter of minutes. Once set up, transfer ETH from your crypto exchange account to your individual web-based wallet. When the ETH has arrived, navigate to the official Azuki project page on OpenSea and buy an Azuki.

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Unique Characteristics

Azuki differentiates itself from other projects in several ways. The first, and most important factor, is art. Azuki spearheaded the growth of the anime niche within the field of NFTs, setting the standard for hundreds of projects after it.

Azuki NFTs are renowned for their aesthetic appeal, and in the words of Zagabond – it resonates with the audience, particularly in Asia, where anime is extremely popular. “I’ve had a couple of conversations with Asian investors who told me that this was the first NFT that they purchased,” Zagabond said.

Another factor that makes Azukies unique is the rebellious theme they give off. Tsang says Azukies exemplify the rebellious culture of skateboarders, adding that the collection synergizes nicely with the cornerstone narrative of decentralization within the Web3 community.

The Azuki team differentiated the project from others in the space through a strategic storytelling prospect. The team successfully delivered several initiatives to build an active and vibrant community, creating the mysterious and captivating lore that is associated with the project.

Utility

Azuki holders get access to The Garden – the unique metaverse within the Azuki ecosystem. According to the project’s website, “it is a corner of the internet where art, community, and culture fuse to create magic. The lines between the physical and digital worlds are blurring and the rules are being rewritten.” The Garden will be home to interactive multimedia experiences, games, community incentives and potentially animation and comics. 

In addition to The Garden, the Azuki team plans to launch streetwear collabs, NFT drops, live events and much more. Since its launch, Azuki has been fulfilling its many promises. In April 2022, Azuki launched one of its largest expansions to date – the Azuki Beanz collection. 

The Beanz are said to be a sort of sidekick to the Azuki journey – holders of Azuki aviators received these NFTs free of charge via airdrop. Much like Bored Apes did with mutant Apes and Doodles did with Space Doodles, Azuki capitalized on the need to grow the brand without diluting the original 10,000-supply collection with Beanz.

How to Find Non-Fungible Token Projects Early

Identifying undervalued NFT projects early is an essential skill that can lead to life-changing wealth. It allows you to position yourself in promising projects at cheap prices before the rest of the market follows. 

Picking the best NFT projects before they blow up isn’t easy, and it often takes an exorbitant amount of experience with the market. That’s why Benzinga launched its premier NFT newsletter, NFT PRO. NFT PRO sends you five of the best opportunities in the sector every week, curated by experts. It is written by Henry Stater, Benzinga’s NFT expert, who has more than 1,000 hours of experience trading and researching NFTs and a stellar trading track record. 

Here’s an example of what NFT PRO subscribers get every single week. These were the five picks from the August 19 edition of NFT PRO. 

nftproforazuki

In this single NFT PRO edition, subs were tipped off to four of the most successful NFT projects of the coming months. The edition called out Art Gobblers, urging subs to get on the whitelist before the main NFT collection was even announced. Right after the (free) mint, even the cheapest Gobblers were selling for more than $20,000. DigiDaigaku saw a similarly spectacular rise. When the August 19 NFT PRO edition came out they were trading for ~1.5 ETH ($1,800). Within two weeks, you couldn’t buy one for less than $22,000. Finiliar, 10KTF Combat Crates and Genuine Undead also saw an increase of 3-4x, 1.5x and 5x respectively. 

NFT PRO subs who bought one of each of the five NFTs could have made at least 30 ETH ($36,000+). You can get a special discount when you sign up for a limited time. It’s important to note that the newsletter isn’t financial advice. It’s the top five NFT opportunities every week from an expert in NFT trading and there is no guarantee of profit.

Is Azuki a Good Investment?

Overall, Azuki is a promising project with a sturdy value proposition and stunning aesthetics. The project has a vibrant community and is positioned to continue growing in the future, although not without risk. Given the inherently volatile nature of NFTs and the speculative nature of Azuki, prudent investors will only invest money they are willing to lose. 

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