A shocking revelation has stunned the NFT community. Azuki NFT founder just admitted three failed NFT projects prior to launching the popular Azuki NFT collection. The founder revealed he was the person behind CryptoPhunks, Tendies, and CryptoZunks — projects that are allegedly rug pulls according to the Web3 detective Zachxbt.
Azuki NFT Founder Revealed Failed NFT Projects
In a Twitter post, Azuki NFT Founder ZAGABOND.ETH (@ZAGABOND) posted a link to a blog entitled “A Builders Journey.” The caption says “Bull or bear, Azuki is building towards the future of web3. We’re in it for the long term. Builders need to experiment for Web3 to challenge Web2. Azuki is built on learnings from creating Phunks & other projects. This taught me to lead, not follow”.
The blog highlighted the founder’s history of creating NFTs, starting with CryptoPhunks. According to it, Phunks is Larva Lab’s CryptoPunks. Its creation is a “simple parody collection, which evolved into a movement representing something much larger in the NFT space”.
The founder said the “project challenged the community to think about web3 copyright rules.” Larva Labs then issued a DMCA takedown request on CryptoPhunks. This lead to the collection being delisted and relisted several times on OpenSea.
The next failed NFT project is Tendies, which the founder admits “looked too much like turds”. He said the minting experience of Tendies was meant to imitate ordering chicken tenders at a fast-food restaurant. With only 15% of the collection minted, the project also didn’t make it.
Lastly, CryptoZunks, which also focuses on “minting experience” is the continuation of the founder parodying Punks. In the blog, he said that the NFT collection was the “last 1000 Punks” that features the never-been-seen Punk combinations.
However, the project died due to “limitations of the project due to gas costs on Ethereum”. Team members leaving, and the project’s disconnect with its community, was also reasons listed by the founder for the project’s failure.
Azuki NFT Founders Accused of Rug Pulled Failed Projects?
While the blog is probably meant to showcase the origin of Azuki NFT and the lessons the founder learned through the NFT ventures, it also caught the critical and observant eye of the NFT community. Twitter user and Web3 sleuth @zachxbt, made a thread accusing the Azuki’s founder of “rugging three projects in less than a year”.
Zachxbt said that CryptoPhunks, Tendies, and CryptoZunks are all rug pulls. In the thread, he added posts of other Twitter users supporting his claim. For instance, @PaulOx’s tweet in August last year said the “Zunk devs pretended to be women and have made over 2 million dollars using that as a marketing ploy”.
In addition, another screenshot of a post that says the Tendies founder ceased all activity and deleted social media and Discord server a month after launch.
Lastly, another post on how there was no handoff when the Phunk devs left while the founders gained around 300 Eth.
The Azuki NFT founder replied to zachxbt’s thread claiming they delivered everything they promised on the failed projects. “There was no product-market fit at the end of the day, but that doesn’t mean it’s a rug”, he said. However, the community doesn’t seem to be convinced.
Azuki NFT has faced several issues and controversies, but the founder now accused of doing rug pulls puts the NFT project in a precarious situation. Is this the end for Azuki NFT? We can only wait on how things will unfold.