Chiru Labs, the team behind the anime-inspired Web3 brand Azuki, started a vicious bidding war that saw eight gold-plated skateboards sell at auction for a combined value of more than US$2.5 million.
Sure, 24-karat gold-plated skateboards are cool and all, but what makes these things extra special is that they come equipped with some spicy new Web3 technology. Each gold-loaded skateboard — which happen to weigh a whopping 20 kilos each — comes decked out with a “BEAN chip” that ties it to its respective digital NFT version on the Ethereum blockchain.
Azuki calls this technology “scan to own”.
Each skateboard is “custom-designed, precision-milled, and fully coated in 24K gold…and depicts an exquisitely detailed golden dragon – along with one of nine unique emblems from the Azuki universe.”
Prominent NFT luminary on Crypto Twitter who goes by the pseudonym ‘Dingaling’ forked out the largest amount of cash for the rarest ‘dragon emblem’ skateboard, dropping a total of 309 ETH (US$400,000) on one of the gold-plated boards.
Dingaling’s $400k purchase was for the culture
Speaking to The Chainsaw on Twitter, Dingaling said that it wasn’t necessarily about the skateboard and it was more about becoming an ongoing part of the storytelling in the Azuki world.
“The skateboard auction is a way to cement your place into Azuki lore forever pretty much, and because I believe in the project and the team, it was a no brainer for me,” they said.
The owners of the skateboards have had their names added to an interactive part of the Azuki world known as the ‘Ruins’.
“They’ve engraved our names on the shrine so the possibilities are endless, based on what they want to do in the future,” Dingaling added.
“Imagine Azuki launching an anime and in the story they come across the shrine which has a Dingaling dragon (lol)”Dingaling
Justifying the US$400,000 price tag, Dingaling wrote out their thought process: “In my mind I was thinking ‘this is only going to set me back 4 bored apes worth of ETH anyways’ so when comparing those two things it was worth it.”
The cheapest of the skateboards came with the least-hyped ‘frog emblem’, and was snatched up by another anonymous user ‘darklady’ for 200ETH (US$260,000).
According to a blog post from Azuki, the chip works with the PBT token in the following way:
“Scanning the chip with your phone allows for the PBT to be minted or digitally transferred to the owner’s wallet. This allows the current owner of a physical item to also own the PBT, which verifiably authenticates the item and ties the item to a digital token in the wallet of their choosing.”
One of the reasons that Azuki’s introduction of the PBT has been so well received is because the technology allows for Web3 businesses to track ownership of real life objects that are linked to an NFT.
The most common example of this in action would be linking limited edition physical merchandise, which could be readily duplicated by impostors looking to make a quick buck.
The new token standard pioneered by the PBT in combination with the BEAN chip would make it so that all physical items associated with an NFT are consistently linked to it in a decentralised way over time.
The 24-hour auction for the skateboards came to a heated finish on October 23, with Azuki now claiming to have broken the record for “the 8 most expensive skateboards ever sold”.
Prior to this the most expensive skateboard ever sold was a board made in a collaboration between American skater Jamie Thomas and folk legend Bob Dylan, which went for US$38,425. Before that, the “Blackbird Board“, which featured handwritten lyrics from the Beatles’ Paul McCartney fetched US$27,116 at auction.
This means that Azuki’s sales broke the pre-existing records by significant margin, with the golden skateboard NFTs surging to the top collections section on OpenSea.