Bybit, Oracle Red Bull Racing and Chiru Labs Launch “Lei the Lightning Azuki” NFTs


Quick take:

  • The collection is based on the blue-chip Azuki character #8494.
  • It will be minted on the Tezos blockchain and offered to fans for free on a first-come-first-served basis.
  • It will be offered via the Bybit NFT marketplace.

Bybit and Chiru Labs have teamed up with Oracle Red Bull Racing to create a limited edition NFT collection based on the blue-chip Azuki #8494. Dubbed the “Lei the Lightning Azuki”, the NFTs are minted on the Layer 1 proof-of-stake blockchain Tezos and offered via the Bybit NFT Marketplace.

This will be the first time ever a blue-chip NFT is featured on an F1 team’s racing cars. The Azuki NFT will be emblazed on both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez race cars for the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

An NFT is a blockchain-based digital file providing proof of ownership of an artwork, virtual merchandise or collectible. In Azuki’s case, the NFTs are digital collectibles based on the popular Japanese anime, minted on the blockchain. 

The Azuki #8494 is a human avatar NFT characterised by blue spiky hair, lightning eyes, and off-white dark background. It also carries a lantern and a toothpick in the mouth.

The limited edition Lei the Lightning Azuki NFTs will be themed around the character and will be offered free to fans on a first-come-first-served basis.

Describing the new collection in a press release on Thursday, Chiru Labs and collaborators wrote: Lei, which builds on the IP Azuki 8494 is “a maverick, whose raw power, passionate personality, striking image, and boundless spirit epitomise all the values of Oracle Red Bull Racing, is a perfect match for the 2022 World Champions.”

The three partners boast huge communities that will be eligible to participate in the NFT drop. The Oracle Red Bull Racing team is headed for another F1 championship win, following last year’s success, with Verstappen poised for the title. On the other hand, Bybit is one of the leading web3 platforms, while Azuki has established itself as one of the premium NFT collections.

Commenting on the partnership, Ben Zhou, Bybit co-founder and CEO said: “This is a unique piece of artwork and a timeless moment. We anticipate exciting things from this unique collaboration and Lei the Lightning Azuki. He’s such a striking character and a bridge linking the racing, crypto, and NFT communities. We know they are all going to jump at the chance to own a piece of history.”

On the other hand, Christian Horner, Team Principal and CEO of Oracle Red Bull Racing lauded his team’s tremendous feat of being the first to put a blue-chip NFT on a Formula One car. 

“Our partnership with Bybit and Azuki has been an ideal way to help us explore the Web3 world. In many ways, it’s been an eye-opener for us to the vast opportunities Web3 has to offer. This unique project is the perfect combination of creativity, innovation, and passion which matches our ethos on the track,” he said.

Azuki founder Zagabond commented: “Lei the Lightning Azuki reflects the passion, precision, and raw power of Oracle Red Bull Racing. We look forward to telling Lei’s story in the 2023 F1 season.”

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