Azuki NFTs have risen to become one of the most lucrative NFT projects joining the likes of the Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks. However, Azuki NFT holders may be in for some turbulent times as the project creator known only as Zagabond revealed his involvement in 3 abandoned crypto projects.
In a blog post on Monday, the creator of the Azuki NFT project, Zagabond, revealed he was behind 3 abandoned NFT projects before Azuki. The projects in question include CryptoPhunks, Tendies, and CryptoZunks, with the first and the latter being parodies of the famous CryptoPunks project.
Unsurprisingly the revelation faced much backlash from the Twitter NFT community, with the host of a Twitter space titled “The Death of Azuki” declaring, “Azuki is dead.” As several members of the NFT community believe the revelation is an attempt at damage control, believing the Azuki creator expected an on-chain investigator to come out with the news soon.
While Zagabond has couched the projects as necessary experimentation for the realization of Web 3 and the success of Azuki, many believe the Azuki founder is guilty of “rugging” the projects. On-chain investigator Zachxbt reacted to the revelation by saying, “Azuki founder Zagabond admitted to creating three rugs in the past year.”
Zachxbt accuses the Azuki founder of abandoning the projects after profiting from the direct sales, sharing old tweets of disgruntled community members from the projects in question to support his claim. In one particular instance, Zagabond and his team were accused of pretending to be women to make off with over $2 million in the CryptoZunks project.
However, with mounting pressure and accusations, the Azuki founder maintains that he and his team did nothing wrong. In reply to Zachxbt, Zagabond tweeted, “Please read my post in full. We delivered everything that was promised for these collections. Do I wish they were more successful? Of course. There was no product-market fit at the end of the day, but that doesn’t mean it’s a rug.”
Azuki Floor Price Reacts
Following the revelation by the Azuki founder, the floor price for the collection dropped by about 45%, from 19 ETH ($41,800) to about 10.9 ETH ($24,000) but has since recuperated to 15 ETH.
Meanwhile, despite the new information, Azuki NFT lovers were unfazed and stepped in to pick up the NFTs for cheap. As a result, secondary marketplace sales have surged, with over 300 Azuki NFTs sold in a day.
Rug pulls remain one of the most devious crypto scams and has proven very lucrative for scammers. According to Chainalysis, about $2.8 billion was lost to rug pulls in 2021, a whopping 37% of all funds lost to crypto scams in the calendar year.