Azuki Raises $2.5M With NFT-Backed Golden Skateboard Sale

Popular non-fungible token (NFT) project Azuki garnered attention this weekend with the auction of eight golden skateboard NFTs, which raised $2.5 million ETH in sales volume.

Holders can burn the NFTs to redeem a real-life, gold-plated skateboard. The sale is linked to the debut of what Azuki is calling its “physically backed tokens,” or PBTs. Chiru Labs, the creative collective behind the project, said the skateboard weighs 45 pounds and is not recommended for riding.

Ownership of the physical skateboards can be transferred digitally and is separate from the original NFT, a new take on the burgeoning “phygital” (physical + digital) collectibles market. Chiru Labs says it does so with a “cryptographic BEAN chip” implanted in each board, which can be scanned by holders similar to an NFC chip.

The Azuki stewards told CoinDesk the auction had 145 bids in total, with the lowest winning bid being 200 ETH (approx. $267,000) placed by darklady.eth and the highest winning bid being 309 ETH (approx. $413,000) set by dingaling.eth, a prominent NFT collector who owns 102 Azuki NFTs.

For high-rolling JPEG collectors, the NFTs mean more than just their redeemable skateboards. The project says winning bidders will become “an unforgettable part of the Azuki story,” enshrined in the collection’s lore through unique emblems attached to the NFTs displayed on the project’s website.

It’s not the first project to meld high-value physical collectibles with degen collectibility. In August, jewelry maker Tiffany and Co. released a collection of NFTs for CryptoPunk owners that could be redeemed for diamond necklaces, raising $12 million in sales.

Azuki is the fifth-most popular NFT collection of all time by sales volume, with 266,000 ETH (approx. $355 million) in sales since its launch in January. The collection is currently holding onto a floor price of 11.5 ETH, down from its high of 29 ETH in May, according to data from NFT Floor Price.

Whether holders of the NFTs choose to redeem their tokens for the skateboard or hold for resale value is yet to be seen. At the time of publishing, the highest active bid on one of the eight NFTs is just 6 ETH ($8,000), according to OpenSea.