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Members of the Azuki decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) have initiated a Snapshot proposal to hold the project’s founder accountable over allegations of misconduct.
The accusations arise from the release of Azuki’s Elementals collection, which launched last month, with buyers complaining that the NFTs are extremely similar to the original set, sold in 2022.
A Frustrated Community
The latest collection, called Elementals, could only be minted by users who held the original Azuki collection and a side project called BEANZ. The new set of NFTs, which represented half a suite of a collection of 20,000 profile pictures (PFPs), sold out in less than 15 minutes. The sale was able to raise 20,000 ETH ($39.4 million) for Chiru Labs, the LA-based startup that is behind the NFT collection, having a mint price of 2 ETH ($3900). The original Azuki collection had a floor price of 6.3 ETH ($12,400).
However, after the sale, some buyers began complaining that the new collection was too similar to the original Azuki PFPs sold in 2022. The Snapshot proposal states,
“We have provided support to Azuki during its highs and lows. We have contributed to building a sub-community and promoting the brand in various ways, mostly on social media such as Redbook, Twitter, and in our discord. Despite our efforts, we have only been given a similar profile picture to that of the original Azuki holders and nothing more. The team is blatantly scamming us with empathy checks and promises.”
If passed, the DAO proposal would look for a lawyer to initiate a suit against the pseudo-anonymous co-founder of Azuki, Zagabond. It would also seek a refund, with all funds directed towards the project’s growth and supporting research required for the lawsuit. Zagabond is the pseudo-anonymous founder of Chiru Labs, Azuki’s parent company.
The DAO claims that the Azuki team has done nothing but issue the community members a profile picture similar to that of the original Azuki holders and nothing more and is convinced that the team is scamming them. The DAO members are overwhelmingly in favor of filing a lawsuit against Zagabond, retrieving a refund of 20,000 ETH, and redirecting it towards the project’s growth.
“Azuki Dao hires a lawyer and files a lawsuit against Zagabond for rugging multiple projects. Azuki Dao retrieves a refund of 20,000E from the team and allocates it to the Dao to promote the growth of the entire Azuki community and provide rewards and incentives for artists, content creators, and builders.”
Zagabond had admitted in 2022 that he had abandoned three NFT projects, Tendies, CryptoPhunks, and CryptoZunks. He had claimed at the time that he was not happy with the development of the projects in question, an admission that had generated significant controversy at the time. So far, voting data has revealed that over 60% of the DAO members have voted in favor of the proposal.
Not An Official Organization
However, it must also be noted that the Azuki DAO is not an official organization associated with the project. The group claims that it was formed to support the project, with the token being utilized for voting minted just over the weekend and airdropped to Azuki holders. Twitter user @tytaninc highlighted the same, stating that the group could have malicious intent.
“Here’s more info on where the original tweet about the AzukiDAO came from. Most Azuki holders have never heard of this group and assume it’s either fake or a group with malicious intent. The token for voting was minted two days ago, sooo there’s that.”
Azuki Team Addresses Backlash
The Azuki team addressed the backlash on Twitter, stating that it had missed the mark with the collection and that the mint process was extremely hectic. The team tweeted on their official handle,
“This time, we missed the mark,” and acknowledging that “the [profile picture NFTs] feel similar and, even worse, dilutive to Azuki. Azuki’s vision is to build a decentralized brand. Doing so requires great communication and execution, both of which were lacking with the Elementals sale. We know that we lost a piece of trust today, but nothing gets us more motivated to make things right.”
The CEO of NFT gaming studio MyMetaverse, Simon Kertonegoro also criticized the project, stating,
“It is absolutely the project’s responsibility to create real products that can generate real revenue from outside markets. We need to normalize crypto and NFT projects as having real business models. They need to serve the wider market.”
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.