Yesterday, the NFT world was rocked by a significant market fluctuation when the floor price of Chiru Labs’ renowned Azuki NFT collection plunged by a striking 44%. However, this dramatic downturn was linked to the release of the company’s latest collection, ‘Elementals‘, which was met with substantial backlash from holders and market observers.
The Azuki NFT collection, which has been a star player in the NFT market, had gained immense popularity and a strong market presence, with a floor price previously standing at a whopping 15.3 ETH, or approximately $29,000. Given Azuki’s robust market performance and influence, the announcement of the new Elementals collection was initially met with great anticipation and excitement.
Controversy surrounding the ‘Elementals’ launch
However, the launch of Elementals stirred up a storm of controversy in the NFT community. Critics argue that several of the new NFTs bear a striking resemblance to the original Azuki collection, which was launched in February 2022. They also point out that this similarity is particularly perplexing given that Elementals was initially marketed with a distinct branding story, separate from the original collection.
Charlotte Fang, the creator of the popular Milady NFT collection, voiced her dismay over the similarity on Twitter. She stated, “Azuki really sold a 20K collection at 2 ETH exclusively to their own holders extracting $40MM only for the art to be revealed as basically identical to the main collection.” Comparative analysis of the two collections revealed similarities in key features such as facial structure, angle, and the general vibe, leading some observers to term Elementals as a cheaper, almost duplicate version of the main Azuki collection.
In response to the ensuing outcry, Azuki co-founder offered an explanation stating that a technical glitch led to the incorrect processing of metadata for several NFTs due to outdated event logs from a data provider. They assured the company would “restore the correct images and metadata” as soon as the duplicates were identified.
Market impact and future implications
The controversy has led to significant market upheaval. Sales of Azuki NFTs surged almost 400% compared to the previous week, while prices fell precipitously from over 14 ether (ETH) to 9.7 ether in a single day. The floor prices of the Elementals collection also experienced a sharp 55% drop as presale buyers sold off their holdings en masse.
Despite the initial success of the Elementals collection, which generated a staggering $38 million within just 15 minutes of its release, the controversy over the apparent similarities between the new and old collections has precipitated a sharp decline in the value of both collections.
The ongoing controversy presents a critical juncture for Azuki. Nonetheless, the NFT community is closely watching how the company handles this issue and the potential impact this could have on the future of the Elementals collection, as well as Azuki’s reputation in the market.