11 May 2022

by Glenn Kaonang

Azuki NFT Creator Under Fire After Admitting to Abandoning Past Projects

Before coming up with Azuki, Zagabond had three different NFT projects, all of which were ultimately abandoned by their original founding team

Another day, another controversy surrounding an NFT project steals the spotlight. A well-known project named Azuki recently became a hot topic for debate after its pseudonymous creator, Zagabond, decided to reveal how Azuki was built on top of his three failed projects.

Via a blog post, Zagabond detailed his journey in the NFT space. Before coming up with the idea of Azuki, Zagabond was involved in three different NFT projects: CryptoPhunks, Tendies, and CryptoZunks. Alas, these three projects were ultimately abandoned by their original founding team. CryptoPhunks quickly ran into trouble for being a clone of CryptoPunks, Tendies failed to get traction, and CryptoZunks basically repeated CryptoPhunks' mistake.

Zagabond saw these failed projects as a learning tool, and said that Azuki wouldn't be what it is today without the learnings he got from those projects. The broader NFT community, however, saw it differently. Allegations and accusations emerged in social media, saying that Zagabond was guilty of committing rug pulls with those three failed projects.

NFT Now reported that shortly after the revelation, Zagabond took to a Twitter Space hosted by NFT community figure Andrew Wang to further respond to the allegations. Zagabond denied most of the accusations, and at one point basically said that a failed project isn't necessarily a rug when "there was no product-market fit at the end of the day."

Since the revelation, Azuki's floor price on OpenSea has crashed from the highs of 19 ETH to the lows of 10 ETH. Launched back in January 2022, Azuki is a hugely popular project that has drawn a massive amount of sales volume. While not as big of a name as Bored Ape Yacht Club or CryptoPunks, Azuki has enough to take the NFT community by storm, and is currently sitting on the sixth most traded NFT collections on OpenSea, with total sales reaching more than 225,000 ETH at the time of writing.

While not much is known as to why Zagabond decided to disclose this pivotal information now, the revelation has clearly reignited the call for founder transparency in the NFT space. It also sparked conversation about the exact condition of which a project can be classified as a rug pull or not.