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Behind the JPEG: Kevin Wu
Who is he, where did it start, and how did he find himself at the forefront of the NFT community?
Meet the man with the two golden apes amounting to over 200 eth each, he is the 18th largest ape holder, a loyal Punk hoodie gang member, and a MEEBIT mediator too. Kevin Wu has preached everything crypto since 2017 and those that have listened have been rewarded with mass fortune. But how did he find himself at the forefront of the NFT community? In this exclusive interview, we zone in on his career, his favourite NFTs, and his upcoming GRAYCRAFT NFT drop.
Kevin has proven to be one of the most influential entrepreneurs in the NFT scene with years of creative and financial experience behind him. You’re asking where did it start? You may not know this but Kevin served as a Lieutenant platoon commander, completing his compulsory national service for the Singaporean army. During his time in the army, he trained and managed a team of tank technicians while liaising closely with the Battalion heads of logistics. Even to this day, he is still a part of the reservist’s force in the 489 Singapore Armoured Regiment. Fast forward to 2015 and you will find Kevin studying in college while simultaneously establishing the prominent tech company Gray.Inc. Since its birth, the futuristic and rebellious brand has successfully created some of the most luxurious tech accessories for the iPhone, Samsung & Macbook, and cryptocurrency hardware wallets. Evidently, Kevin was destined to collide with the NFT world given his background and passion for innovation. Two years later in 2017 he joined Twitter, and the rest is history. Kevin’s journey has seen a fusion of leadership, creation and business, all of which have prepared him for the future. The future being NFTs.
Kevin is currently preparing for the launch of his highly anticipated GRAYCRAFT2 drop, the first generative spacecraft project consisting of 10,000 unique 3D spacecraft. Each spacecraft is uniquely creative, serving to accompany your own avatar in addition to being metaverse ready. Perhaps one of the most elegant and lustrous collections out there, GRAYCRAFT definitely incorporates the craftmanship and luxurious aesthetic as fostered by Gray.inc and will undoubtedly thrive when the second drop date arrives. With exciting collaborations and rewards for owners, it will be interesting to see where GRAYCRAFT takes off- my expectations are the moon!
Now, let’s address the elephant in the room. It is no secret that Kevin holds a number of valuable collectibles. In particular, two golden apes and a hooded punk, two extremely rare traits which have seen prices skyrocket, just recently reaching the 200 ETH mark. However, Kevin has some real solid diamond hands and is not looking to flip them anytime soon. Kevin has also joined as a founder for MeebitsDAO and ensured that he will mediate the ongoing feud between the apes and meebits. Despite the war being a bit of fun rivalry, this move really speaks volumes on Kevin’s character, a true NFT collector who values the community and its prosperity at heart.
In the exclusive interview below, Kevin and I discuss a number of things including his upcoming collection, how he acquired his Punk, and his plans for the future.
When did you first acquire your punk, how and why did it happen, what were your thoughts for the future?
I acquired my first punk 3416 from VonMises back in April, I was hearing of all these news about all the sales happening on nifty gateway and so it piqued my interest and led me to discover more about NFTs and crypto punks in general. Coming from the luxury industry with GRAY, it clicked with me, as the luxury watch industry is very similar in that aspect where they use watches to build community, serve as a social signal. Cryptopunks is the digital version of a luxury watch as it is your profile pic, gives you access to community and also serves as a social signal. After that I bought my bored apes on the first day of launch from the secondary market, I just knew these were going to take off and I bought 15 of them and never sold till today. I have 2 golden apes in my collection and according to http://evaluate.market im the 18th largest holder of apes today. I also bought my recent hoodie punk a few days ago for 130eth. Punks and apes will forever be a historic collection as they are both now validated by christies, the worlds top auction house. Funds are also coming in to buy NFTs as part of their portfolio, and the ability to fractionalize them will encourage a lot more to come in. Interesting to see DEFI x NFTs.
What inspired you to create GRAYCRAFT? Why should we tune in and what should holders expect for the future?
We all have so many digital avatars, but will we drive in the metaverse? I wanted to fill the gap in the market for spaceships as there’s nobody who has done that yet, and capture this historic part of NFT history. GRAYCRAFT is an ongoing series, GC1 which was the first NFT spaceship, there were only 77 very exclusive pieces that will be the most exclusive membership for the future. GRAYCRAFT2 is the first generative spaceship project that we will be launching soon. Future gray crafts, can be anything from robots, to cars… GRAY has also been in the luxury accessories business for 6 years, so we will be doing some very cool merch for our owners. We are in current discussions on partnering various virtual worlds on how to best integrate GRAYCRAFTs into their ecosystem. As it stands, virtual worlds need sometime to build the tech to allow vehicles to be driven in the worlds, they however can be used as sculptures immediately. We are also in initial talks with popular and upcoming media projects in the space such as comics, games and animated series to integrate GRAYCRAFTs into their storyline which increases utility and visibility. To further promote the GRAYCRAFT brand we have allocated up to 50 GRAYCRAFT2s in addition to the 10,000 which will be used for collaborations between popular projects and artists. GRAY® has been around for 6 years selling a wide range of luxury accessories from Apple Watch cases to crypto hardware wallets. Each GRAYCRAFT owner will get priority access to future physical product drops and special rewards. For GRAYCRAFT1 we created our first art sculpture and for GRAYCRAFT2 we are creating a mini sculpture that can be used as a pendant for your necklace or a keychain. We are committed to building the GRAYCRAFT project for the long term. Existing GRAYCRAFT owners will get preferential treatment for subsequent launches and GRAYCRAFT3 is already in the works.
Can you name one NFT project that you narrowly missed out on but wished you had secured?
Fidenza! Love the art, one of the nicest art blocks. Will probably buy at a later stage.
Do you have your eyes on any NFT collections set to drop soon?
Hmm not really. I really don’t need any more profile pic projects. I’m looking to acquire more punks or certain art blocks pieces that I like.
You have since inspired many to join the NFT community, I want to know how and when you first joined?
I just joined in April this year! Punk 3416 was my first NFT.
If you have one piece of advice for anyone wanting to join the NFT community, what would it be?
If you have some budget go for punks/bayc those are the bluechip NFTs which have utility as your pfp, so it will be fun for you! - if not, go for something that you like! A PFP avatar project is a great start, to get you into the world of NFTS and understanding the power of a digital identity and a community.
Kevin Wu has a history of success and is looking to enhance this day by day. I will be looking out for his upcoming GRAYCRAFT drop this August and so should you!